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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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    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.

  • 23April 2013

    This workshop organised jointly by the EU Institute for Security Studies and the European External Action Service examined the challenges of piracy and crime at sea as well as the broader challenges to security, governance and development within the region.

  • 13March 2013

    Taking place in Washington, D.C on the 13-14 March, the 2013 EUWF served as a reminder that diplomacy, development and defence are all important elements in attempts to maintain stability and generate growth, even in times of budgetary constraints.

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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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    06February 2008

    Just when the EUFOR Chad/CAR operation was about to be deployed, a major crisis has erupted in Chad, with several thousand rebels attacking N’Djamena and threatening President Deby’s regime. The current instability, which has forced many citizens to flee the capital, could also impact on the security of civilian populations in the Eastern region where EUFOR was expected to be deployed.

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    06February 2008
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    Just when the EUFOR Chad/CAR operation was about to be deployed, a major crisis has erupted in Chad, with several thousand rebels attacking N’Djamena and threatening President Deby’s regime. This is a serious challenge for the EU after months of efforts expended gathering relevant troops and equipment. The current instability, which has forced many citizens to flee the capital, could also impact on the security of civilian populations in the Eastern region where EUFOR was expected to be deployed.

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    01October 2007

    Over the last ten years, the EU Special Representatives (EUSRs) have pioneered EU foreign policy in countries and regions of direct interest to the Union. EUSRs are a face of the Union, enhancing its visibility, and they give it a voice, seeking to deliver a single message to local and international partners, playing an important role in EU foreign policy.

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    01July 2007
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    At dawn on 23 June, after close to 36 hours of intensive talks, EU leaders adopted a mandate for a Reform Treaty. In the field of foreign and security policy, the text foresees the EU should have, as of 2009, a High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy. He will be supported by a European external action service. Another important innovation is the permanent structured co-operation in the field of defence.

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    01April 2007

    L’Afrique est tentée par l’expérience européenne : les chantiers institutionnels et politiques que viennent d’ouvrir les dirigeants africains témoignent de leur volonté de prendre en mains leur propre développement en s’inspirant du modèle européen.

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    01January 2007

    The five West African countries that constitute the Mano River Basin have attracted significant international and regional attention and preoccupation over the last fifteen years. Over the years, a series of agreements has established trade and development aid partnership links between the European Union and the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) group of states.

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    01January 2007
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    The EU military operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo has come to an end, on schedule, as the presidential election process came to its own successful conclusion. For the first time in decades, this major African country, as large as the entire EU-25, and so crucial for the stability of the Great Lakes region and of Africa as a whole, has elected its president democratically.

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    01October 2006

    Qui aurait cru, un an après le marasme politique issu des « non » au référendum sur la Constitution, que l’Union allait devenir, en quelques mois, l’un des acteurs indispensables pour la stabilisation des crises, notamment au Moyen-Orient ?

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    01July 2006
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    As we finalise this second issue of the ESDP newsletter, the European Union is about to launch its fourth military operation under the European Security and Defence Policy: the UN force, MONUC, during the crucial electoral period in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The newsletter places the new mission in the context of the EU's strong, long-standing and multifaceted commitment to the DRC and its transition process.

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    01June 2006

    On 5 May 2006, a Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and one of the rebel movements in Darfur, the Minawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement. Furthermore, on 16 May 2006, the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) adopted a resolution to strengthen the African Union (AU) mission in Darfur prior to the deployment of an United Nations mission.

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