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Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a macro-region in transformation. It is affected by traditional and emerging threats, growing violent extremism and radicalisation, new forms of intra-state violence, structural and climate-related vulnerabilities, social grievances, and migratory pressures. At the same time, the continent is also witnessing fast-paced political, economic, and technological progress, which is profoundly changing its societies and institutions, and triggering a new prominence of African countries in the global arena. 

The relationship between the European Union and Africa is evolving accordingly, going beyond development, humanitarian and security concerns, to include a broader and diversified engagement on migration and mobility, education and skills development, strengthened resilience and governance, inclusive growth and job creation. The EU Global Strategy calls for a change in mindset and a change in policy, seeing the African Union and the EU as privileged and equal partners to shape a fairer, multilateral global order. This new approach will also shape the post-Cotonou agreement and EU support to the Agenda 2063.

The EUISS provides innovative research, analysis and advice to support Africa-related policy planning and implementation. The EUISS uses its convening power to facilitate knowledge sharing, brainstorming, consensus building, dialogues with stakeholders and local partners, to break new ground on matters affecting Africa-EU relations. The Institute looks at instability hotspots, such as the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa, assessing interventions and formulating recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU’s integrated approach. The EUISS also monitors political, economic, security trends in countries at risk of falling or relapsing into conflict, to make the case for prevention when EU action can be impactful. Finally, the EUISS studies the role of new geopolitical actors expanding their influence in Africa, and emerging threats, such as cyber risks triggered by the digital revolution.

African Futures 2030 Task Force

From November 2019 to December 2020, the EUISS ran an African Futures Task Force.

Its main objective was to explore trends affecting the future of Africa in the next ten years, emphasising challenges and opportunities for policymaking. The task force resulted in the publication of the Chaillot Paper "African Futures 2030: free trade, peace and prosperity" on 9 March 2021.

More information on the Task Force

 

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    19April 2017

    What impact have migration routes out of and within Africa had on EU migration policy? This Brief examines some of the Union’s efforts (and challenges) regarding the continent.

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    19April 2017

    After tensions between the government and citizens reached a boiling point in November 2015, a vicious cycle of protests and repression subsequently took hold for over a year. What, if anything, has the ruling party learned?

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    19April 2017

    What generalisations can be made about African growth episodes between 1950 and today? This Brief seeks to dispel some of the negative narratives about Africa’s economic record, as well as discern factors which could lead to future growth on the continent.

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    22March 2017

    Little effort has been made so far to acquire a comprehensive understanding of transnational organised crime, its political economy and its ambivalent, non-linear relationship with political violence and system stability. This Brief takes a theoretical approach to explain the phenomenon in Africa.

  • 01March 2017

    The first expert workshop of the African Futures project was organised in cooperation with the Egmont Institute on 1 March 2017 in Brussels. The workshop discussed Africa’s international relations: Africa’s evolving relations with external partners and the nature of Africa's influence in the world.

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    02December 2016

    The recent decisions by Burundi, the Gambia and South Africa to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) have prompted worries that more countries may leave the Hague-based tribunal which investigates war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. But while it is clear that the ICC is facing important challenges to its credibility and legitimacy, the recent exits might not trigger a domino effect.

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    02December 2016

    The number of popular protests in Africa has increased significantly since the mid-2000s, reaching its peak in recent years. To what extent can this surge challenge sitting governments or even be the harbinger of broader social and political change on the continent?

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    24November 2016

    The EU and China have long sought to cooperate in and with Africa. Illegal migration to Europe, China’s growing commercial investments and terrorists looking for safe haven in Africa bind European, Chinese and African interests. The proliferation of these challenges beyond African borders is now driving the three parties closer together.

  • 21November 2016

    On 21 November, the EUISS held the first meeting of the ‘African Futures’ project at its Liaison Office in Brussels.

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    29July 2016

    This Brief seeks to explain why (and when) coups happen. What conditions are needed to persuade the military to attempt to topple a government? And what elements increase the likelihood of success or failure?

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    28February 2014

    Sub-Saharan Africa is both blessed with immense energy resources and challenged by desperate energy poverty. This Brief explains how, as Europe diversifies its energy suppliers and seeks improved energy security, a focus on better energy governance and improved energy sustainability in Africa can help manage this contradiction.

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    13February 2014

    Le déploiement prochain d’une mission EUFOR en RCA aura comme objectif la protection des populations civiles. Ce mandat est-il réaliste, et quelles leçons peut-on tirer d’opérations dans le passé ayant eu des mandats similaires ?

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    24January 2014

    This alert provides an overview of the key events and potential political crises that are likely to occur in selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the coming year.

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    24January 2014

    With the decision to launch EUFOR RCA Bangui, EU member states appear to be displaying a willingness to inject new momentum into crisis management in sub-Saharan Africa. But how likely is it that the situation in the CAR will be sufficiently stable in six months to allow the EU to declare victory and hand over to AU forces or the UN?

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    17January 2014

    This alert explores the EU’s security engagement in Somalia. It highlights the fact that, despite its sizeable financial contribution to the force, the EU does not have leverage on AMISOM’s operational command or its troop architecture. EU tools are not currently being used to their full potential in the country and their eventual effectiveness is ultimately dependent on other partners’ efforts.

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    13December 2013

    Despite the progress made since the presidential elections earlier this year, serious disputes remain over the status of the regions in northern Mali. With extremists beginning to take advantage of the situation, this alert explains why the country must break the current political deadlock and begin the long-overdue process of reconciliation.

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    06December 2013

    L’envoi de troupes françaises en République centrafricaine est une étape d’une approche qui rappelle celle gouvernant la gestion de la crise malienne. Mais les parallèles entre ces deux processus soulignent certaines difficultés, notamment les relations difficiles entre organisations régionales et sous-régionales, les carences de l’approche régionale et la faiblesse des acteurs africains. Quelles solutions existe-t-il, et l’UE est-elle en mesure d’apporter des solutions?

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    29November 2013

    This brief analyses what impact the five BRICS countries are likely to have in global politics in the years to come, and what future trajectory the grouping might take. The BRICS ‘club’ may or may not last – in its present or another formation – but its rise is a wake-up call for the EU to deepen its bilateral relations with individual BRICS and possibly reconsider its own position in the emerging system of global governance.

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    25October 2013

    Aujourd’hui, la situation sécuritaire et politique en République Centrafricaine est grave : elle affecte la vie courante de chaque centrafricain. La rébellion Séléka a endommagé l’autorité de l’Etat, des Forces armées, et anéanti les services publics minimaux. Ce Brief souligne que le rétablissement de la sécurité est l’objectif prioritaire, mais celui-ci dépend fortement de la (re)construction de l’Etat.

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    18July 2013

    With the Malian population set to go to the polls to elect a new president at the end of the month, this timely brief lays out the challenges and difficulties that the future head of state, regardless of who is elected, will be faced with in order to ensure long-standing stability and move Mali out of its conflict stage.

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