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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 the end of 2020, the EUISS is running an African Futures 2030 Task Force.

The main objective of this Task Force is to explore trends affecting the future of Africa in the next ten years, emphasising challenges and opportunities for policymaking. For more information, please click here.

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  • 30June 2015

    In association with DG DEVCO of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, the EUISS held a conference on Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea on 30 June 2015 in Brussels.

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    26June 2015

    Niger is increasingly becoming a major hub for drugs and arms smuggling in the Sahel region, as well as for clandestine migration across the desert, into Libya, and eventually Europe. Can Niger block these irregular migration and smuggling routes – and if so, will it?

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    12June 2015

    Half-way through a year that many dubbed ‘a milestone for African elections’, a mixed picture emerges. President Buhari’s inauguration in Nigeria celebrated the victory of an opposition party in peaceful, free elections. Yet Sudan’s sham election, Ethiopia’s marginal opening and Burundi’s escalating violence tell another story.

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    12June 2015

    This Chaillot Paper looks at CSDP operations and missions, and explores how they fit into the broader crisis management environment and multilateral efforts towards international peace. It highlights the inherent constraints facing CSDP and how these inevitably limit its overall impact or degree of success. The paper also examines the EU’s added value and the extent to which CSDP is moving forward at various levels.

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    05June 2015

    With the five BRICS countries continuing to expand and institutionalise their cooperation on key international issues in an attempt to further increase their global clout, this Brief takes a look at the EU’s response to their rise. Should the BRICS be treated individually or as a group by the Union?

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    13March 2015

    With the EU-led operation in the Central African Republic (CAR), EUFOR RCA, coming to an end after a little less than a year, this Alert assesses the outcome of the mission. What lessons can be drawn from the experience of its launch and deployment?

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    27February 2015

    As elections approach in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, the entire Great Lakes region is bracing itself for a potential of a spike in conflict. This Brief assesses the situation in the DRC, where President Kabila is seeking to control the army, stifle opposition and civil society, and break free of donor pressure. What lessons can be drawn from the situation there?

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    06February 2015

    With Africa’s biggest economy set to go to the polls on 14 February, this Alert explores some of the possible outcomes and the regionalisation of the threat posed by terrorist group Boko Haram.

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    06February 2015

    Le Mali accueille quatre opérations extérieures destinées à contribuer à la restauration de la stabilité dans le pays. Deux des opérations sont européennes, EUTM Mali et EUCAP Sahel Mali, et offrent un exemple de mise en œuvre de l’approche globale de l’UE. Mais quelle est la nature de ces missions et comment vont-elles affronter les nombreux défis mettant en danger la stabilité régionale ?

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    19December 2014

    A collaborative project by the entire EUISS research team, this Chaillot Paper analyses changes in the contemporary global environment according to eight distinct but interconnected perspectives. The publication aims to offer a comprehensive background analysis to the policy debates that will inform the drafting of the Report on the international geopolitical environment that the High Representative is due to present in 2015.

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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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    03June 2013

    In the aftermath of two deadly attacks in northern Niger, there are concerns that the country could be beginning the similar descent into chaos that devastated its neighbour. Yet although Niger appears to suffer from some of the same problems as Mali at first glance, this alert seeks to prove that realities on the ground are somewhat different.

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    27May 2013

    The management of the Nile's precious waters has always been a delicate exercise and with no major event disrupting the status quo, the water politics of the river has long remained relatively low-key. Growing pressures on the river, however, may be about to change that situation.

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    22May 2013

    Following a spectacular decline in the Gulf of Aden, incidents of armed robbery at sea and piracy are now on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea. Given the region's importance for the EU, are there lessons that can be learned and usefully transferred from Gulf to Gulf?

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    22May 2013

    On 25 April, the UN Security established MINUSMA to take over from the African-led mission (AFISMA) in Mali. This alert explores the possible impact of ‘robust peacekeeping’ in Mali and draws attention to the current application of an emerging template for inter-institutional cooperation in military crisis management.

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    18February 2013

    Despite Africa’s rainy equatorial zone, long rivers, great lakes and vast shores, water is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. Convincing policy responses are required in order to alleviate growing pressure on water resources that could eventually lead to domestic unrest, exacerbate existing inter-state tensions and even constitute a source of armed conflict.

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    30November 2012

    This policy brief looks at the prospects for the proposed EU training mission in Mali and examines what lessons might be learned from the EU’s previous contribution to international peacekeeping efforts in Somalia as well as the exent to which the fragile security situation in Northern Mali has the potential to become another Afghanistan.

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    12July 2012

    As many European governments introduce their biggest defence budget cuts in years, the impact on their collective military capabilities may be lessened by exploiting two directives designed to integrate the EU defence market.

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    27June 2012

    Over the last decade, researchers and policy-makers have paid increasing attention to diasporas. This Occasional Paper explores the untapped potential of African diaspora communities in promoting peace in their homelands and assesses how the European Union can engage with these non-state actors in the field of peace and security.

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