The European Business Council for Africa

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

This weekend, African leaders will gather in Addis Ababa for the 32nd summit of the African Union (AU), with forced displacement within Africa as the meeting’s main theme.

This summit and its agenda provide the perfect backdrop for our Weekly Compass.

Egyptian President El-Sisi will be chairing his first AU summit. As always, the question on everyone’s mind is whether leaders are really willing to develop truly continental policies, beyond national perspectives, along with an intercontinental approach with Europe. However, as we saw last week, on all this North Africa seems ambivalent. This week we examine why mixed messages from Europe might explain North Africa’s lukewarm attitude.

Whether Egypt will choose to continue the energetic push for African Union reforms, which characterised Rwanda’s Presidency, also remains to be seen. Kesa Pharatlhatlhe and Jan Vanheukelom have spent quite some time analysing the AU’s finances. They discovered that behind the dry numbers lies a political story that reveals the scale of the changes needed in the hearts, minds and wallets of the main contributors.

It is fitting that the AU is focusing on forced displacement, as the EU will still be grappling with migration issues in 2019. The big question mark will be the European Parliament elections, as Anna Knoll tells us in the second contribution to our Challenges Paper blog series.

Read the blog