Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Notes from the African Diaspora: an economist's views on the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon


The following analysis of the recently concluded EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon is rather lengthy so I will try to keep this introduction short. The editorial was authored by an Angolan economist and economic historian, Ana F. Santana, who lives and works in London. I have admired Ana’s writing online about Africa and African issues for several months and she has just celebrated her 1st anniversary as a certified global blogger & citizen journalist at her personal blog “Koluki”.

Toward the end of November I received a request for an article about the EU-Africa Summit 2007 from Jörg Wolf* in Berlin. I responded to Jörg’s request “that I had just the right person to write that article for his prestigious organization” if she would be willing and had the time to do it. Fortunately Ana accepted the invitation and I had effectively passed a “hot potato” on to someone I felt was better qualified to write about this historic and important meeting of African and European leaders. Jörg was also delighted to have Ana’s contribution, adding a new and different perspective on transcontinental issues in contrast to the predominately European viewpoints on the summit published in the European press and aired on TV and radio news programs.

*Jörg is the co-author of the Atlantic Review blog and Editor-In-Chief for the Atlantic Community, a new “open think tank” focusing on transatlantic issues and dialogues between North America and Europe. Some of my readers may remember Jörg from our collaboration on the very popular March/April 2007 series about Black and African History in Germany and Europe.

Ana’s editorial is the product of what I term “a beautiful mind”, knowledge and opinions from a well-educated, hard-working, young woman interested and engaged in world affairs. Through her writing online Ana is helping to create a better world by freely sharing her knowledge and skills with others around the globe. Ana earned a MSc. degree in Economic History and Development Economics from the prestigious London School of Economics. A short bio with more information about Ana F. Santana can be found at the Atlantic Community and Die Welt Online websites.

It is an honor for me to be able to present Ana’s full editorial at Jewels in the Jungle. A shorter version of the article titled “EU-Africa Summit: Trade Disagreements Hinder Better Partnership” can be found at the Atlantic Community Policy Workshops and in the Debatte section of Die Welt Online, a leading German newspaper and flagship publication of the Axel Springer Verlag.

by Ana F. Santana
December 14, 2007

In spite of the high-pitched controversy surrounding the contentious issues of Zimbabwe and Sudan, the 2nd EU-Africa Summit held in Lisbon over the weekend ended with the signing by the leaders of both continents of a “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership” pledging "to move away from a traditional donor-recipient relationship and forge a real partnership characterised by equality and the pursuit of common objectives." Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, ended the event on a positive note stating that the two continents have opened a new chapter in their relations. "What is important is that we met each other face to face on an equal setting in a new spirit. I think I can say the idea that has been expressed most often is that this summit represents the turning of a page in history," he said. However, the apparent fallout over the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) seems to suggest that, if a page in history was indeed turned it might not have been clearly towards a brighter future for either the EU/Africa relations or the African economies in general.

In fact, in a UK Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Briefing Paper of June this year “Economic Partnership Agreements: What happens in 2008?”, Researcher Christopher Stevens predicted that if the EC Commission remained in what he termed its “retreat into negotiation mode” and did not engage in frank and open debate of the available options to the anticipated failure to meet the December 31st deadline for the establishment of EPAs, one potential casualty would be the Lisbon Euro–Africa Summit: “European leaders may find themselves facing hostile African partners, concerned over their fate a month hence and, possibly, knowing that export orders have been cancelled by importers fearful of paying GSP duties. The EU bears a heavy responsibility to ensure that its trade policy is coherent with its other policies on development and on Africa,” he wrote.

In line with prevailing international trade rules, the unilateral preferences under Lome and Cotonou required a WTO waiver, which is not expected to be extended beyond 2007. The current EU/ACP system of non-reciprocal preferences was expected to then be replaced by the EPAs leading over time to WTO-compatible full trade reciprocity in line with the provisions of Article XXIV of the GATT which requires such agreements to cover “substantially all trade”, include all sectors and be implemented over a transition period of 10 to 12 years. In this context, African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) engaged in EPAs negotiations with the EU aimed at agreeing on the principles, objectives, structures and sequencing of joint road maps for the establishment of such partnerships. Generally, the period from mid to end 2004 was set for priority setting and preparations for the substantive negotiations planned to take place from January 2005 to June 2007. The last stage was for the finalisation of the agreements, which were expected to be signed by December 2007 and enter into force on the 1st of January 2008.

However, judging by last weekend’s post-Summit headlines, Stevens may have seen his prophecy fulfilled. In fact, while Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is reported to have stormed out of the meeting stating that "It's clear that Africa rejects the EPAs. We are not talking any more about EPAs, we've rejected them ... we're going to meet to see what we can put in place of the EPAs", European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso emphasised that Brussels was not pressuring African countries over trade, but warned that if no more interim deals take place by the end of the year to avoid trade disruption, "the preferential agreement will no more be applicable from Jan. 1, 2008." Barroso’s position seems to be somewhat at odds with that espoused by Chancellor Merkel, who stated that “the Dec. 31 deadline is not fixed in stone and an EU Summit scheduled for Friday will look again if Europe can be more flexible.” It was also openly questioned by African Union Commission President Alpha Oumar Konare, who criticised the few interim trade deals already signed: "Our dearest hope is that the interim accords don't tie down the rest (of the countries) and complicate things afterwards. If we build our partnership on the weakness of unity in Africa we'll have problems."

In the above-referenced paper, the ODI put forward five options, without exclusion of other possibilities, classifying the first two as ‘undesirable’ and the other three as ‘problematic’:

1. to replace Cotonou in January 2008 with the EU’s ‘next best’ trade regime whilst negotiations continue
2. to agree without negotiation detailed schedules prepared by one party to the EPA talks
3. to seek an extension of the WTO waiver
4. to create a better ‘fallback, interim regime’ for the ACP than exists at present
5. to agree on EPA agreements that establish the key principles but leave the details to further negotiation.

On the strength of the above statements by Wade, Barroso, and Konare which seem to rule out options 2 and 5, it could be anticipated that the most likely scenario would be the implementation of option 1, whose implications would be dire for African economies.

Quoting again from the ODI paper, “according to the statements made by the European Commission officials, this (option 1) will be the default option. The Commission accepts that it would be a bad outcome; ODI research has quantified the scale of the damage. Unless positive action is taken to avoid this, officials say, from January 2008 the EU will apply to imports from the ACP the tariffs set by the regime that applies to all developing countries: the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). (…) ODI calculates that the new tariffs of 10% or less would result in the transfer from the ACP states to the European treasuries of some €156 million per year (equivalent, for example, to 2.6 times EuropeAid’s commitments to health projects in all ACP states in 2005). When tariffs of over 10% and specific duties are included, the EU’s tax take would be much greater. (…) But in such cases these high taxes will often not be paid – for the simple reason that ACP exports will collapse.” However, Chancellor Merkel’s suggestion of a possible more flexible stance by the EU could also lead to adoption of options 3 or 4, i.e. to seek a further extension of the WTO waiver about to expire, or to create a better ‘fallback interim regime’ for the ACP, problematic as these might prove to be.


Whatever the outcome of the current deadlock, there are at least two sets of constraints both the EU and African States must address if the “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership” adopted by the Lisbon Summit is to be successfully implemented and any mutual benefits are to be reaped from the relationship between the two continents in years to come. These constraints arise, on the one hand, from the EU institutional approach to Africa and, on the other, using Konare’s words, from “the weakness of unity in Africa.” The graphs below illustrate the issues: the one on the left is extracted from the European Commission – DG Development presentation entitled EU-Africa Partnership: Lisbon and Beyond (PDF file), while the one on the right depicts the overlapping African Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

See Graph 1: Present EU Trade Partnership Zones for Africa
See Graph 2: African RECs (Regional Economic Communities)

It would seem that little needs to be added to these graphs to make the point that neither Africa can be treated “as one”, as desirable as this may be as a long-term goal, nor deeper and wider economic integration can take place on the continent for as long as all the existing RECs are not adequately rationalised, with or without EPAs and independently of the African states possible options for new preferential partners among the BRIC’s, notably China, as it is becoming increasingly apparent. There is, nevertheless, a little more to be said about these graphs.

On the one hand, the experience of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement with South Africa (TDCA), signed in March 1999 and whose negotiations took place at a moment when the Lomé Convention was itself about to expire and the EU was seeking to devise a new instrument to replace it, amidst an established consensus among European policy-makers and business leaders against the principle of non-reciprocal trade concessions to the ACP, showed that even within the minimalist approach to Africa “as one” there are spillover effects from FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) which cannot be minimised in an integrated regional and global context.

In effect, the role of South Africa as the strongest economic partner within the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which also includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS) – all also members of the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC – meant that the TDCA was extended, without consultation with the BLNS, to these countries as a de facto FTA with the EU. This implied a number of adjustment costs for those countries, including those arising from opportunities for adverse free-riding, trade deflection and huge losses of fiscal revenue without adequate compensation, which were further aggravated by the bitter experience of the US-sponsored AGOA projects in countries such as Lesotho, once changes in the global trade legal framework led to the sudden retreat of new industry operators such as India and China from their markets.

On the other hand, the same TDCA experience may give substance to the fears expressed by Konare in relation to the ‘interim accords’ in the context of EPAs or, more accurately Free Trade Agreement negotiations. A crucial issue for African economies in this context is that some countries’ are heavily dependent upon import tariffs as a source of government revenue, which is also on the basis of the formation on the continent of so many overlapping RECs and the reluctance by some African leaders to engage in serious efforts towards their rationalisation, thus allowing the surviving ones to perform as building rather than stumbling blocks in the path of the construction of an effective African integrated economy.

However, such fears can be allayed on the assumption that – given the sub-optimal nature of tariffs as a basis for budgetary income due to their distortionary effects, of which an induced bias against exports is particularly pernicious for the economy as a whole – it is advisable that African countries pay particular attention to the modalities of fiscal reform that can enable the broadening of their tax bases so that they can progressively diminish dependence on trade tariff revenues. This effort can be complemented by gains to be derived from the asymmetric rate at which tariffs are expected to be lowered under EPAs, which by stimulating higher volumes of trade can be revenue neutral, because while less revenue is generated on each imported item, a higher volume of products is expected to be traded, leaving the total revenue collected unaltered or even increased.


The EPAs negotiations were expected to be essentially about striking the right balance between costs and benefits for Africa so that its long-term development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, are not jeopardized in the process. To this aim, African countries were expected to ensure that key issues such as the duration of transition periods, the final product coverage included in full trade liberalisation, the sensitive sectors and products excluded from the scope of liberalisation and the degree of asymmetry in the extent of duty free access granted to African exports were adequately dealt with in the negotiation table. All this while not losing sight of the fact that, however important trade is for African economies, it is not a panacea for all of the continent’s economic development needs.

Hence the need to complement the EPAs with complementary policies, such as human resource development, strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework, developing appropriate macroeconomic, environmental and social policies, promoting administrative, institutional and legal reforms and adopting adequate supply-side measures, such as private sector development, improving labour productivity and infrastructure development. All these elements seem to be covered by the “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership” now adopted in Lisbon, which, alongside policy priorities in all the other mentioned areas, sets the following priorities for Trade and Regional Integration:

1. Support the African Integration Agenda
2. Strengthen African Capacities in the area of Rules, Standards and Quality Control
3. Implement the EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership

So there seems to be no need to ‘look back in anger’. However, there is certainly a need to look ahead with realistic and cautious optimism. This may entail the assumption that the currently stalled negotiations on EPAs are to be pursued beyond the December 31st of this year unless something as dramatic and far-fetched as the “dissolution of the WTO and the return of the world trading system to bilateralism” suggested earlier this year by American presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, takes place in the interim. There is, in fact, scope for the EU to seek a new waiver from the WTO, not only using the Cotonou Agreement precedent in that respect (it was delayed for two years to allow negotiations to be concluded), but also resorting to Paragraph 29 of the Doha Declaration, which mandates negotiations aimed at “clarifying and improving disciplines and procedures under the existing WTO provisions applying to regional trade agreements. The negotiations shall take into account the developmental aspects of regional trade agreements.”


Africa is faced with the challenge of simultaneously liberalising its markets in the context of EPAs and pursuing a path towards deeper regional integration as provided for by the Abuja Treaty, against a backdrop of overlapping memberships of regional groupings by most Member States. This daunting scenario, while certainly calling for heightened efforts in the long-running process of rationalisation of the existing RECs and the streamlining of their mandates, should also motivate African states to invest even more of their best political, diplomatic and technical efforts in concerting negotiating positions vis-à-vis the EU and, as far as possible, harmonise the means and objectives to be achieved in each EPA configuration, so as to eliminate the possibility of disruption of the African common development agenda spearheaded by the AU.

While it is true that the establishment of different Customs Unions (CUs) between some Member States – in this respect it should be noted that although the establishment of CUs is not compulsory for the agreements on EPAs, which are essentially free trade agreements (FTAs), they have been presented as the preferred trade arrangement by the EU – will constitute a structural divisory line between African economic spaces (because it is not technically possible for a country to simultaneously belong to more than one CU). It might also be true that the extent to which these different CUs will impact the interface between joint economic development prospects on the continent will depend on the levels at which the respective common external tariffs are set.

Given the significant similarities in the composition of the bulk of the continent’s trade flows with the EU, not only there is scope for Africa to come up at the end of the different negotiating processes with compatible common tariff nomenclatures and external tariffs that may serve the continent’s common development agenda but, as a result of the establishment of FTAs and CUs, the expected expansion of Africa’s internal markets and the increased specialization and diversification of its economic bases according to specific comparative advantages should in fact enhance economic complementarities and increase intra-regional trade, thus bringing African economies closer and more integrated than ever before. This may eventually bring the continent to a stage where it may envisage the unification of the different Customs Unions and evolve together towards larger integrated Regional Common Markets progressively covering the entire continent.


Reinforcing regional integration leads to fostering expanded market opportunities, thus addressing the current limitations posed by Africa’s mostly small and segmented markets, which are too expensive and un-competitive, and attracting investment, creating employment and increasing the continent population’s average income levels through increased economic growth rates. In order to maximise the synergies between the EPAs negotiations and the widening and deepening of economic and social integration in Africa, there is need for a broad framework that can address all sectors and issues relevant to both processes, particularly in the areas of trade in goods, services, rules, enforcement mechanisms and policy coordination and harmonisation.

The materialisation of all these objectives is a prerequisite for African economies to progressively evolve along a macroeconomic framework of increasingly synchronised business cycles, convergence of inflation and interest rates, exchange rate flexibility, financial markets integration, multilateral trade openness and income convergence, all of which are expected to ultimately lead to the emergence of a fully operational African Economic Union, which will certainly be a convenient partner for the EU in a “real relationship of equals” capable of “turning a page in history” as purported by the ‘Africa-EU Strategic Partnership’ just adopted at the Lisbon Summit.

Ana F. Santana is an Angolan professional presently based in London. She holds an MSc in Economic History and Development Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Ana has worked extensively in the Southern Africa region as an Economic Consultant on Trade Policy, as a Policy Adviser, and as a Research Coordinator and Trainer. Ana’s personal blog “Koluki” is located at

Editor’s Note: links to external websites added to original article to help clarify terms and references. Yep Ana, I tweaked the original just a wee little bit too...:-)


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Graph 2: African RECs (Regional Economic Communities)

Source: Unknown (ref: African Union - African Economic Commission)

Graph 1: EU Trade Partnership Zones in Africa

Source: European Commission DG Development 2007

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

EU-Africa Summit 2007 in Lisbon: The Pre-Game Show Part I

Update December 5th:
A 'Heads Up' announcement for international journalists covering the EU-Africa Summit and a missing link to the European Commission

Journalist Andrew Ströhlein, the Director of Media and Information for the International Crisis Group, has a sobering message for European news networks, news editors and journalists who will be covering the upcoming summit in Lisbon. Writing for his Reuters AlertNet blog Andy and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to 'Bandit Bob' Mugabe attending the EU-Africa Summit 2007 in Lisbon. Andy says,

EU-Africa Summit: Get Beyond Bob
04 Dec 2007 23:49:00 GMT
Blogged by: Andrew Stroehlein

"Here's a challenge to all European journalists intending to write about this weekend's EU-Africa Summit: deal with real issues that may have an effect on people's lives, not invented ones that politicians use to aggrandise themselves. In short, skip the flap about Robert Mugabe's attendance, and go directly to substance.

Some may say this is hard to do. No doubt editors back home are baying for Bob, so they can cover what they assume people are interested in -- mostly because the competition is working under the same assumptions. Of course, in doing so the media gatekeepers have to consciously ignore their duty to inform the public as well as the opportunity they possess to set the agenda.

There are at least a dozen much more critical issues this EU-Africa Summit raises. I chaired a press conference today, with a number of expert speakers discussing the upcoming international meeting for about an hour, and throughout their speeches the subject of Mugabe's attendance never came up once. There was just too much else to talk about.

My own organisation, the International Crisis Group, highlighted the deteriorating situation in Darfur, now exacerbated by Khartoum blocking deployment of the hybrid AU/UN force, and examined the situation in Chad, where one of the larger rebel groups just declared war on the EU force about to be sent there.”

Andy goes on to say more (read all about it here) but he wraps the post rather nicely with these words of advice to his professional news journalism colleagues:

“…And again, throughout the hour-long press briefing, not one speaker, not even the harsh critic of Mugabe from Zimbabwe, discussed the matter of the leader's attendance at the Summit. In fact, not until a journalist asked about it in the question period did anyone even mention it. All the expert speakers agreed with Arnold Tsunga when he replied that this was a diversion from the real issues the EU and Africa needed to address, particularly about Zimbabwe, but also right across Africa.If you're a journalist, consider following his lead when you write your story. This is the first EU-Africa Summit in seven years. Don't waste your rare column inches and air time on a non-story about pointless political posturing.”

End of excerpt from Reuters Alertnet blog -

The second part of this update has to do with a newly launched website from the European Commission for the EU-Africa Summit 2007 in Lisbon. Check out the new site from the EC DG DEV as it is loaded with information about the upcoming summit and African-EU partnerships and cooperation. Of course the information on the website is available in all languages spoken within the European Union and a few foreign tongues as well.

End of update for December 5th
Original post of December 4th follows:

A few days ago when I began in earnest to research information online about the upcoming EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon, most online international news sites and the blogosphere alike had very little to offer. Little to offer that is if you discount the weeks of media babble about the dreaded attendance of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and the not so subtle revulsion of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for “Bob the Bandit”, a pre-summit political and media circus that threatens to overshadow any chance for success of this important event. People seem to forget that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair also did not attend the first ever Africa-EU summit held in Cairo, Egypt in 2000 and that the planned follow-on summit for 2003 was cancelled for the same reason: the controversy over Robert Mugabe’s presence at these summits.

Question: So what’s on the menu at Jewels for the coming days and weeks?

Answer: The strategic partnership talks in Lisbon between the leaders of 80+ sovereign states representing 100’s of millions of citizens living in Europe and Africa. We are only days away from the start of the 2nd EU-Africa Summit to be held in Lisboa (Lisbon), Portugal from December 7-9, 2007.

That’s right folks, after an absence of more than seven years the Africa-Europe Summit is back in business again. The EU-Africa Summit 2007 is the follow-on summit to the 1st OAU-EU Summit held in Cairo, Egypt in April 2000. The OAU (Organization of African Unity) was disbanded in 2002 with the newly formed African Union rising from its ashes before the flames died down. The EU (European Union) has expanded its membership to 27 countries as of 2007 and much has changed in the world since the first Africa-Europe summit (boy that’s an understatement). The process of building a better economic, political, and cultural relationship between the people of these two continents just might get a “new lease on life” after Lisbon.

This ain’t gonna be anything like the November 2006 China-Africa Summit in Beijing. Loose money from European state coffers feeding fast & shady deals for promises to build new road and rail infrastructure, government palaces, and football stadiums in exchange for lucrative exclusive contracts for oil, gas, and other natural resources that rightly belong to the citizens of resource-rich African countries will not be on the agenda in Lisbon. Or maybe it will be, because news on the street today is that China has been invited by the EU to the Lisbon Summit as an “observer country”.

I thought it would be a good idea to first concentrate on solid background information about the European and African strategic foreign policies that constitute the core of this important summit and to provide useful online resources for my astute readers. After all, the average person on the street whether in a European city or an African city does not have a clue to what this summit is all about and how it will affect their future.

A good starting point for me in researching information about the two Africa-EU summits has been the website and blog. This organization is funded and managed by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) based in Brussels, Belgium. The site is dedicated exclusively to news updates, reports, press releases, and official documentation about the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon and joint African-European political and economic policies. I suggest that you start with europafrica’s Lisbon Summit category and spread out from there. I’ve also listed at the end of this post a small number of online resources about the EU-Africa summits and joint European-African strategic policies and cooperation. This is the first in a short series of posts at Jewels about the EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon and more links and cross-posting of relevant blog articles will follow.

The website has a link to the original Cairo Plan of Action from the 2000 Africa-EU Summit in Cairo. It would be interesting to compare the main points of that joint declaration by European and African heads of state to the EU-Africa Joint Strategy for 2007 to be agreed upon (or not) at the Lisbon Summit. I have created an outline of the main sections from the Cairo Plan of Action with selected excerpts:

Cairo, 3-4 April 2000


We, the Heads of State and Government of African States and of the European Union as well as the President of the European Commission, have met in the First Africa - Europe Summit under the Aegis of the OAU and EU, in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, at the kind invitation of His Excellency Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, under the Co-Presidency of the President of Algeria, His Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in his capacity as

Chairman of the OAU, and the Prime Minister of Portugal, His Excellency Antonio Guterres, in his capacity as President of the European Council.

The Secretary General of the OAU, and the Secretary General of the Council of the European Union/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy also participated in the Summit. A representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations attended the Summit.

We solemnly declare that:

Over the centuries, ties have existed between Africa and Europe, which have led to many areas of co-operation, covering political, economic, social, as well as cultural and linguistic domains. These have developed on the basis of shared values of strengthening representative and participatory democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, good governance, pluralism, international peace and security, political stability and confidence among nations. In the light of the current rapid globalisation trend, We are determined to strengthen this co-operation in our mutual interest and make it more beneficial to the two regions.

In order to give a new strategic dimension to the global partnership between Africa and Europe for the Twenty First Century, in a spirit of equality, respect, alliance and co-operation between our regions, We are committed to the basic objective of strengthening the already existing links of political, economic and cultural understanding through the creation of an environment and an effective framework for promoting a constructive dialogue on economic, political, social and development issues.


We stress the importance of regional economic co-operation and integration as an efficient strategy for the orderly and co-ordinated development of the African continent. We recognise the important interrelation between political stability, peace and security on one hand and regional integration on the other. We commend the leaders of the African continent for adopting a number of declarations, plans and programmes, as well as treaties which constitute an appropriate framework for the collective promotion of the development of their countries, which include the Lagos Plan of Action and the Final Act of Lagos of 1980, and the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community of 1991 (the Abuja Treaty), which came into force in May 1994, and the Sirte Declaration adopted at the OAU Extraordinary Summit, Libya in September 1999, on the African Union.

We note the progress made in regional integration in Europe and in Africa and recognise that regional integration can be an important step towards beneficial participation in the world economy. We welcome the decision taken at the OAU Extraordinary Summit on the African Union in Sirte, Libya in September 1999 to realise the African commitment to regional integration and to consolidate and strengthen the regional economic communities as the building blocks for achieving the objectives of the African Economic Community.

We note the efforts to establish an Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area and, in the framework of the just concluded ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, to create integrated economic areas between the EU and Africa, consistent with the objective of enhancing the economic integration of Africa. In addition, the priorities for action adopted by the Summit will be promoted through the current ministerial discussions between the European Union and the African countries in the framework of the new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement and the Barcelona Process. These discussions will maintain their present format and regularity.

We stress the need to promote close co-operation between the EU and African regional integration institutions, notably the African Economic Community (AEC), in the context of facilitating the sharing of experiences and institutional strengthening of the AEC and the regional economic communities (RECs). In that regard, it is worth recalling the OAU document: Relaunching Africa's Economic and Social Development: The Cairo Agenda for Action of 1995.



We welcome the progress made in recent years towards more outward-oriented economies by a large number of African countries and we pledge our support to these policies, in such a way as to encourage competitive advantages, economic growth, sustainable development and social stability in Africa.

We recall that Africa and the EU have traditionally been important trade partners and We affirm our commitment to strengthen this partnership by removing progressively barriers to trade between both sides, including non-tariff barriers, and enhancing co-operation in all trade related areas, building on regional integration initiatives existing within Africa and in line with the goals and objectives of the Abuja Treaty with a view to ensuring the further development of Africa's economic and industrial potential. With respect to African Least Developed Countries, We recognise the need for enhanced market access for essentially all their products on a duty-free and quota-free basis.

End excerpt - Read more from the Cairo Plan of Action at the Republic of South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs website.

I. Introduction

II. Regional Economic Co-operation and Integration

III. Integrating Africa into the World Economy
a. Trade
b. Private Sector Development
c. Investment
d. Resources for Development
e. Infrastructural Problems and Industrial Base
f. Research and Technology
g. External Debt
h. International Co-operation

IV. Human Rights, Democratic Principles and Institutions, Good Governance, and the Rule of Law
a. Human Rights
b. Democratic Principles and Institutions
c. Civil Society
d. Migration
e. Xenophobia
f. Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s)

V. Peace-Building, Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution
a. Post-conflict Assistance and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Integration
b. Terrorism
c. Small Arms and Light Weapons
d. Landmines
e. 2000 Review of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty)
f. Conflicts in Africa

VI. Development Issues
a. Challenges to Sustainable Development in Africa and Poverty Eradication
b. Investment in Human Resources – Education
c. Investment in Human Resources – Health
d. Food Security
e. Environment
f. Drug Abuse and Trafficking
g. Cultural Issues

End of Cairo Action Plan outline

Related articles and additional resources

Presidency of the European Union – Portugal 2007
EU-Africa Summit 2007 in Lisbon official website (see related news)
EU-Africa Business Summit in Lisbon 2007 official website
EU-Africa Business Forum 2007 in Accra, Ghana

European Commission – Directorate Generale for Development
EU-Africa Summit 2007 website

(Note: this site launched on November 17th and is loaded with info)

ECDPM – European Centre for Development Policy Management
Europe Cares

EU SCADPlus – Taking the EU-Africa dialogue forward

African Union official website

African Union Commission (CIDO – African Citizens Directorate)
NEPAD – the New Partnership for African Development

African Union Commission - Conferences
Official AU website for the Africa-EU Summit 2007 in Lisbon
(Note: is it the Africa-EU Summit or the EU-Africa Summit, or both?)

Republic of South Africa – Department of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Briefing on the European Union – Africa Summit, 12/05/07 - public consultation toward a joint EU-Africa strategy
Africa-Europe Youth Summit (description and resources)
Voices from the Euro-Africa Civil Society Forum, 11/23/07
(Note: see about the EU-Africa consultation and the Europafrica Bulletin)

Euforic (official blog of Europe’s Forum on International Cooperation)
Creating a true and equal partnership between Europe and Africa?, 11/30/07

(Must-see video and text from a conference sponsored by Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation and WEED – World Economy, Ecology, and Development)
More info about the conference at the WEED website

APO-Source (blog and news database of the African Press Organization)
Africa and Europe: a new departure by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, 12/05/07
Africa’s Security Is Our Security - Its Opportunities are Our Opportunities by Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, 12/04/07
Lisbon Summit to discuss youth policy in Europe-Africa cooperation, 12/04/07
Joint EP-PAP Statement on the joint EU-Africa Strategy to be adopted by EU and African heads of state and government, 10/26/07

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