Africa and its partners: building alliances for sustainable development
Sustainable development and peace in the world depend on economic and political developments in Africa. Cooperation with Africa has gained importance in recent months in Germany and Europe. During the general elections in Germany and France in 2017, the German G20 Presidency or the preparations for the Africa-EU summit in November 2017 a key topic will be how cooperation with Africa could be reformed and made more sustainable. Until December 2017 we will discuss with leading policy experts, academics, business and media representatives from Africa, Europe and beyond the following questions: What are relevant trends that would support sustainable developments in Africa? How should cooperation with African governments, African regional organisations and African societies be organised to enable sustainable development?
A growing number of policymakers, researchers and funding bodies have gotten excited about transformative researchon Africa. Transformative research, they claim, may support progress towards economic, social and environmental sustainability in Africa and may enhance the participation of local actors in development research and cooperation. This may happen, if we actually knew what transformative research meant and how best to go about it.
The democracy, rule of law and human rights agenda is under pressure but it is more relevant than ever in the Europe-Africa dialogue. Fears of the negative effects of globalisation, growing inequalities and the refugee crisis have caused a wave of populism in Western liberal democracies. In several European countries, traditional political parties are losing the trust of significant parts of the population. This also affects the role that Europe is playing in the global world and in its partnership with Africa as the closest neighbour. Geopolitical and economic interests seem to take the upper hand over the values in EU foreign policy.
Migrations- und Finanzströme dokumentieren das fehlende Vertrauen vieler afrikanischer Gesellschaften in ihre wirtschaftlichen und politischen Systeme. Bei der Lösung dieses Problems muss die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit mit der Wirtschaft zusammenarbeiten und zivilgesellschaftliche Strukturen stärken, um sich selbst sukzessive überflüssig zu machen.
Africa remains a continent of contrasts: rapid economic growth alongside enduring poverty, widespread adoption of electoral politics while pockets of authoritarian rule persist, gains in life expectancy amid crises of AIDS, Ebola, and malaria.
The EU is currently in the process of revising its overarching vision on development policy, the European Consensus on Development. This process requires an honest examination of some of the contradictions that have emerged between, on one hand, the EU’s development commitments and principles and its long-term interests in a building a genuine partnership with Africa for sustainable development, and, on the other hand, a growing trend towards using development aid for short term security and migration management priorities. These tensions are clearly highlighted in the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) which was established at the Valletta Summit in November 2015.