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Research Report


Copyright Date: Aug. 14, 2009
Pages: 66
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 12-12)

    The aim of the seminar was to examine the historical and contemporary relationship between Africa and Europe, and to investigate whether this relationship is one of habit or one of real strategic importance for both continents. The seminar explored the unfolding economic relationship between the two continents and discussed issues of regional integration, peacekeeping, military co-operation, and migration. It further assessed the interests of Europe in Africa, the growth of institutional linkages between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), and the political, economic, and security roles that Africa expects Europe to play on the continent. The meeting...

  2. (pp. 13-16)

    Hence, the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa now constitute a group of their own – the “periphery of the periphery” or the “Fourth World”. Africa is probably the only continent that has failed to recognise and exploit the nexus between economic growth and holistic human development; the elimination of large-scale structural unemployment; and the focus on the creation of wealth as the only way to eradicate poverty. In other words, the imperative of socio-economic and political “deconstruction” and transformation has not been fully grasped by African leaders. Unfortunately, Europe, which had gone through its process of industrialisation in preceding centuries,...

  3. (pp. 17-27)

    In assessing relations between Africa and Europe, much prominence must be given to the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, which is often seen as marking the definitive beginning of the full period of European colonisation in Africa. This was a seminal event that symbolised the deep flaws running through the whole history of relations between Africa and Europe. The German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, posing as an “honest broker”, convened 14 mostly European powers and the United States and Turkey to a conference in the German capital to regulate the growing competition for colonies and “spheres of influence” that had come...

  4. (pp. 28-31)

    The relationship has increasingly become a “dialogue of the deaf”. However, the term “partnership” has been used to characterise the relationship, though, in most cases, the partnership has been unequal and is more a situation of uneasy co-existence rather than a harmonious give-and-take relationship.20

    For example, the new EU strategy for Africa in 2005 was meant to provide the framework for the new, comprehensive EU-Africa integrated long-term relationship with Africa, but was prepared entirely by the European Commission, without substantial input from African governments. This is the state of play, even if the Joint Strategy that Europe and Africa agreed...

  5. (pp. 32-34)

    Currently, the states of Eastern and southern Africa can negotiate EPAs with Europe dependent on their regional grouping either within SADC, the East African Customs Union (EACU), East and Southern Africa (ESA), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, or the East African (EA) grouping.24 The most serious threat to Africa in the current form of the EPAs, with the reciprocity principle, is the ultimate threat that EPAs will pose for Africa’s small and medium-scale farmers and traders, which estimates say could affect 50 to 60 per cent of employment possibilities.

    Much scepticism was voiced about the role of...

  6. (pp. 35-36)

    The current form of the PAP – a purely advisory and consultative body with no legislative powers – requires a fundamental transformation for the body to play an effective regional role in Africa. Also important are the functions and power of the PAP, its major challenges, and its efforts towards transformation. The European Parliament played an important role in driving integration in Europe, though the institution is not widely treated with great reverence in Europe itself. Africa needs to prioritise integration and ensure that the PAP can contribute to this process. The current constraints on the PAP and its challenges...

  7. (pp. 37-41)

    These initiatives also have to be seen in the context of the “new social contract” in Africa, which became enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act in 2000. This ran parallel to, and drew synergies from, the beginning of security co-operation between Africa and the European Union.

    In the new formulation and building on the lessons of Lomé and Cotonou, the new EU-Africa strategy seeks to avoid the ”conditionality trap” by stressing the importance of dialogue, “ownership”, and negotiation for arriving at shared governance agendas. Much of the EU’s governance assistance has taken place within NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)...

  8. (pp. 42-43)

    British entry to the EEC in 1973 was seen as a means of disengaging from a number of Commonwealth obligations that were absorbed into Europe’s budding development policy, especially through the Lomé Convention of 1975. The end of the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1994 was a definite milestone, but Africa continued to be thought of as a marginal British foreign policy interest, even with the coming to power of the Labour Party’s Tony Blair in 1997. Africa continued to be seen as a region of low priority, although, as was said at the time, “more than ever before...

  9. (pp. 44-46)

    Despite centuries of conflict, more recently intensified in the 20th century following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, there has always been a quest for peace, stability, and prosperity in this region, encompassing Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.44

    Since the inception of the EEC, there have been efforts to develop relations with the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. However, these ties really only began to take shape as Europe began to raise its sights towards developing countries in the 1970s. By the beginning of the 1980s,...

  10. (pp. 47-47)

    The importance of understanding war and peace in the context of a post-racism to a post-racial society can also not be ignored. In understanding this concept, the seminar discussed metaphorically William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Othello. On the one hand, prejudice based on differences in culture and, on the other hand, prejudice based on cultural variations were seen to be a derivative of the differences in physical skin colour. The significance of then United States presidential candidate Barack Obama – who became the first African-American US President in January 2009 – and the world’s acceptance of this fact, are...