The European Business Council for Africa

ECDPM's weekly update on EU - Africa relations and international cooperation 

Last weekend, nearly 200 countries adopted a set of guidelines to implement the Paris Agreement on climate action. Views vary on whether these guidelines could have been more ambitious, with some just being happy that anything was agreed at all, and others seeing it as a much-longed-for victory for multilateralism.

A big and recurrent stumbling block in these kinds of negotiations is balancing conflicting needs: small versus big, national versus regional, rich versus poor, different laws addressing different needs. This is also the main thread of our last Weekly Compass of the year.

In their new paper on regional organisations in Africa, Bruce Byiers, Karim Karaki and Sean Woolfrey look at the competing dynamics behind regional and national industrialisation strategies in Africa. Romy Chevallier, a senior researcher at the South African Institute for International Affairs, went to the COP24 meeting in Poland and reports back for us on the need to make sure that economic activities in Africa preserve diverse and healthy ecosystems. And yet another set of conflicting objectives was the focus of a conference attended by our Jeske van Seters: should agreements between companies to increase their social and environmental sustainability be allowed even if they might distort competition?  

And finally, Pauline Veron and Andrew Sherriff write about a meeting they organised in Brussels on the UN and the EU working together on peacebuilding.

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