How Can the ACP Defend its Interests in a World of Mega-Regional Trade Agreements? Weekly Compass, 2 May 2014
What are the possible economic ramifications for ACP countries of mega-regional trade agreements – those which involve three or more countries, constitute a quarter of world trade or more, and entail deep, behind the border regulatory commitments – being negotiated by major industrial powers like the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? This paper from ECIPE explores these issues and urges a policy of constructive engagement in the WTO by the ACP countries through participation in established working groups to explore the new regulatory issues, and preparing the groundwork for their subsequent incorporation by negotiation into the multilateral trading system. While the WTO remains central to defending ACP trade interests, ECIPE encourages ACP states to conditionally support plurilateral negotiations, ensuring that their interests will be accommodated by withholding consent until such time as concrete and enforceable undertakings are in place.
Demand for Democracy is Rising in Africa, but Most Political Leaders Fail to Deliver. Weekly Compass, 25 April 2014
Seven out of ten Africans prefer democracy to other political regimes, and the proportion of deeply committed democrats has risen steadily over the past decade according to citizen attitude surveys conducted by the Afrobarometer in 34 countries. The study points out that while ordinary Africans clamour for high-quality elections and leadership accountability, too many political leaders continue to manipulate the polls, challenge term limits, and even seize power by coup. Several African countries – notably Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe – continue to experience a deficit of democracy in which popular demand for democracy greatly exceeds the amount of democracy that political elites are willing or able to supply.
How Does the EU Make Decisions That Matter for Africa? Weekly Compass, 18 April 2014
ECDPM’s latest guide is for African and European audiences eager to know more about how the European Union makes decisions on Africa in an ever changing and interdependent relationship between the two continents. What guiding documents, financial and other instruments does the EU use? What are the main dynamics and challenges? No death by powerpoint here! This new guide is an in-house presentation supported by infographics and narrated by our own Essete Abebe Bekele and Clem Silverman. It is based on previous ECDPM’s research and body of knowledge.
New Deal for Fragile States Needs Time and Political Commitment to Flourish. Weekly Compass, 11 April 2014
Some claim the 2011 “New Deal” for Engagement in Fragile States is already in crisis, but statebuilding demands patience, resources and resolve writes Helder da Costa, General Secretary of the g7+ in The Guardian. The New Deal calls for peacebuilding and statebuilding objectives to be at the forefront of international efforts in conflict-affected countries. But to achieve change on the ground, the New Deal must change mindsets and shift priorities at the very highest levels. Yet it has too often been seen as a technocratic exercise, something that can be “implemented” by one or two ministries and their local donors. Da Costa argues we need to bring the politics back in. This means building momentum and commitment to change at all levels of society, from the grassroots to the president. You can also listen to a podcast on what he expects from the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership.