The European Union and the United States are recalibrating their policies towards Africa. Various concepts and approaches are under discussion on both sides of the Atlantic, with nobody underestimating the strategic importance of Africa and a sustainable partnership with the continent.
Together with the African Institute for Security Studies and the Center for Strategic & International Studies in the US we discussed with experts from Africa, the US, and the EU if and how a new transatlantic partnership between Europe and the US can contribute to an even stronger relation with the African continent and what needs to change to avoid mistakes from the past.
Under the Trump administration, the United States have steadily walked away from Africa, which has also left the field clear for China and Russia to make giant strides. During his first 100 days in office, President Biden has already shown respect and commitment to working with other countries and the international community.
For sure, a renewed EU partnership with Africa should be implemented in close partnership with the US and focus on opportunities as much as dealing with crises.
Here are a few points we took away from this exciting discussion:
Peace & Security:
Ultimately, only Africans and the AU can address the many challenges the continent is facing, and attend to the root causes for conflicts and development backlogs. However, external assistance, strong partnerships and coordinated efforts can go a long way in facilitating economic growth and promoting good governance and democratisation.
Watch a recording of the seminar with Dr Jakkie Cilliers from the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, Judd Devermont of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, and Bernard Quintin from the European External Action Service: