The European Business Council for Africa

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

The 32nd African Union summit has just come to a close. Thus ended a busy two days with a packed agenda ranging from how to address funding gaps – a key issue for the Union which was spearheaded by outgoing AU chair Paul Kagame – to the progress on Agenda 2063 and the state of play of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The new chair, Egyptian president El-Sisi, has now officially taken over for 2019 and the decision was taken to have South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa as chair in 2020.

As usual we are here to help you connect the dots. To give you a sense of the challenges surrounding the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Sean Woolfrey, Philomena Apiko and Kesa Pharatlhatlhe have looked at two countries in particular: Nigeria (which still has not signed it yet, but might do so soon) and South Africa (which did sign it but with some hesitation). These two countries are good examples of how different approaches and domestic priorities can and will influence the future of the agreement.

Also, following his paper on the finances of the African Union, Jan Vanheukelom wrote a blog looking at prospects of new AU chair El-Sisi being able and willing to carry on Kagame’s legacy.

Finally, we are looking for two new colleagues to join our Economic and Agricultural Transformation team. The details are below. As ever, don’t hesitate to share these vacancies in your networks.

Read the blog