The European Business Council for Africa

This ongoing health emergency should push us all to look at new ways to take better care of ourselves and the environment.

Very pertinent in this respect is the so-called One Health approach. The idea is to connect humans, animals, plants and the environment to prevent diseases spilling over to humans. Our latest brief outlines four necessary ingredients for this to happen: (1) a global arrangement for systematic coordination between food and other thematic institutions, (2) the right combination of public and private investment, (3) a one-year roadmap culminating in the 2021 UN Food System Summit, and (4) a combined leadership by three European presidencies of various international bodies – the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit, G7, G20 and COP26.

COVID-19 has firmly set foot in Africa, affecting all African countries. There is already plenty of material that analyses the European response to the Corona pandemic. But less is known about the quality of the responses on the African continent. We have published a paper examining the different roles played by the African Union and a sample of regional organisations in shaping coordinated responses to COVID-19.

Even before this current crisis we had been witnessing a steady shrinking of the space for civil society. Across the globe, NGOs, informal social movements, journalists, researchers and other important humanitarian players are hindered, expelled, detained or physically assaulted. We have analysed how civil society and a few donors are reacting, and have suggested proactive strategies to push back.

Matthias Deneckere, Ashley Neat and Volker Hauck wrote a paper that draws on past and current practices to inform EU support to security actors. They situate their analysis in the context of the future European Peace Facility (EPF) and the next long-term budget. A key argument of the paper is that the EU should ensure that a future EPF is integrated into an overarching policy for support to security sector reform. 

One Health and COVID-19: Global leadership, territorial investment and food systems 

The One Health approach is particularly relevant to tackle threats like COVID-19 as it links the health of humans, animals, plants and their shared environments. Francesco Rampa argues that the current health crisis is an opportunity to place food systems at the centre of One Health actions, and puts forward four proposals on how to do this.

Read the brief




African regional responses to

Alfonso Medinilla, Bruce Byiers and Philomena Apiko look into regional responses to the Corona-crisis in Africa, which differ depending on a range of factors, including the organisation's institutional history and size. Although COVID-19 will surely impact regional health cooperation, its long term effects on African integration more broadly remain to be seen. 
Read the paper

Claiming back civic space – Towards approaches fit for the 2020s?

The space available for civil society, activists and citizens has been under attack globally. We have analysed – for the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – how international and national actors have been responding to the threats to civic space.
Read the report

The future of EU security sector assistance: Learning from experience

Looking at experiences from the EU, Germany, France and the Netherlands, this paper reflects on the EU’s future role in working with foreign security actors. It also makes recommendations for how to deal practically with a number of challenges facing security sector reform.
Read the paper



Other news and interesting reads



58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Food supplies in Africa and fast fashion globally are just two examples of why urgent action is needed to ensure fairer and more resilient value chains (Seife Ayele and Ayako Ebata, Institute of Development Studies)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The economic resilience of African countries offers a template for growth in a post-COVID-19 era (Landry Signé for Quartz Africa)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Against the backdrop of a raging and devastating pandemic, the world economy is projected to shrink by 3.2% in 2020 (UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png These figures highlight Africa’s fiscal response to COVID-19 (Payce Madden, Brookings)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png In this podcast, Papa N'Diaye, Head of the Regional Studies Division in the Africa Department of the IMF, says that by the end of 2020, sub-Saharan Africa will face income losses of about $200 billion (IMF)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Low-income countries could make use of the opportunities COVID-19 provides to make changes to tax systems that might be politically difficult later (ODI)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png South Africa’s significant trade surplus shows the initial impact of COVID-19 on imports(Willemien Viljoen, Tralac)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Africa’s informal cross-border traders have been hit hard by COVID-19. Here are five interventions that can be made (David Luke, Gerald Masila and Lily Sommer for NewAfrican magazine)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png COVID-19 border policies create problems for African trade and economic pain for communities (Antoine Bouët and David Laborde, IFPRI)


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png This dashboard tracks food export restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis (David Laborde, IFPRI)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The 2020 Global Nutrition Report identifies critical actions to achieve nutrition equity

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Five ideas to turn the COVID-19 recovery into a global green new deal (Ekaterina Bessonova, Stockholm Environment Institute)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png This brief looks at potential impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on West Africa, a region already grappling with conflict and a food and nutrition crisis (Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat)


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The Fragile States Index 2020 was launched, showing that the world is becoming steadily less fragile despite persisting problems (The Fund for Peace)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png EU Foreign Affairs Chief Joseph Borrel asks to ‘avoid slashing defence spending’(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png This brief shows how to involve many different stakeholders in designing a violence prevention project (Violence Prevention Forum for the Institute of Security Studies)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The Peace and Develop­ment 2020 report analyses trends, experiences and challenges and makes recommen­dations for German and inter­national develop­ment cooperation (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png A global ceasefire in the time of coronavirus could offer a window of opportunity for inclusive, locally-led peace (Oxfam)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The triple nexus approach in the aid sector – which joins up the development, humanitarian and peace ‘pillars’ – is gaining momentum all over the world (Louise Redvers and Ben Parker, The New Humanitarian)


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png By shutting its ports for health reasons as a consequence of Corona, Europe is letting desperate migrants die at sea (Christos Christou for The National)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Neglected refugees find themselves even more neglected during COVID-19 (Lucy Hovil and Vittorio Capici for African Arguments)


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Angola’s president, João Lourenço, has opened the political space – the real challenge now is reducing poverty and reviving the economy (Paula Cristina Roque for the Institute of Security Studies)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Africa is not waiting to be saved from the coronavirus; media reporting needs to reflect that (Nanjala Nyabola for The Nation)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The COVID-19 pandemic is casting Tanzania’s Magufuli in the worst light, in an election year (Dan Paget and Aikande Clement Kwayu for Quartz Africa)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png What’s in the confidential report exonerating the African Development Bank’s Adesina?(Vincent Duhem, The Africa Report)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png It is time to re-imagine the role of ‘the media’ in post-COVID-19 Africa (Ivan Okuda for Africa Portal)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Early lessons on public trust in Africa during COVID-19 times (Hisham Aïdi, Policy Center for the New South)


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The EU has allocated $11 million to create a Humanitarian Air Bridge but repatriation of EU citizens is not enough; ECDPM’s Pauline Veron states that the bloc will “have to scale up significantly its humanitarian response” (Michael Igoe, Devex)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png When the dust of the COVID-19 crisis settles, it will be time to pour a new foundation for EU-Africa relations moving forward (ETTG’s Geert Laporte, Sara Pantuliano and Vera Mazzara for ThinkGlobalHealth)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png COVID-19 has put data at the centre, but also revealed deficiencies in our systems – here are five ways to have better data (Claire Melamed for Oxfam’s ‘From poverty to power’ blog)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Southern perspectives on a global action plan for developing countries to address the coronavirus crisis (ODI and Southern Voice)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png Europe is well placed to push for reforms of global cooperation and governance after the coronavirus pandemic, but Europe itself must change first (Rosa Balfour, Carnegie Europe)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png The coronavirus is a siren for the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (Kushal Kadakia and Andrea Thoumi for Brookings)

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png What more could donors be doing on COVID-19? (Emma Smith and Vince Chadwick, Devex).