30 May 2023 14:3016:00

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Keeping human development on the EU’s agenda in a new geopolitical era

On 30 May 2023 from 14:30 – 16:00 CET, ECDPM hosts a webinar to look at the EU’s support to human development in a world of polycrisis. The event aims at bringing together actors from Brussels and partner countries – namely Kenya, Guinea and Zambia – to discuss the opportunities and challenges in the cooperation between the EU and the partner countries in human development sectors.

The current environment for the EU’s development cooperation is currently marked by geopolitical
competition and new initiatives aimed at demonstrating added value in partner countries. Yet, despite
increasing investments in hard infrastructure, it appears that human development remains a key area
where the EU can add value. A recently published ECDPM report focusing on Kenya, Zambia and
Guinea points out that the EU’s support to human development sectors is appreciated and essential
to bolster the EU’s standing as a key partner. The investments in human development – when brought
to their full potential – can strengthen the EU's added value as a partner that sets it apart from other
actors. Yet, to fully grasp that opportunity, the EU and broader Team Europe need to build solid
partnerships and leverage its investments in areas of key added value.

At the same time, the multiple ongoing crises pose a risk for human development which might end up
overshadowed by other priorities. Furthermore, the upcoming European elections in 2024 and
changing leadership in the European Commission bring both challenges and opportunities for the EU
as a human development actor.


  • Erica Gerretsen, director, Human Development, Migration, Governance and Peace (INTPA.G)
  • Kalil Traore, Technical assistant of the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Technical Education and Vocational Training of Guinea
  • Miselo Bwalya, Research Fellow - Human Development at Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research



  • Bogdan Stefanescu, Team Leader, Social Sectors and Governance, EU delegation to Zambia
  • Vitalis Mukhebi, National Team Coordinator, DSW Kenya

ECDPM staff involved


14:30-14:35 Welcome and introductory words by ECDPM

14:35-14:45 Presentation of findings of ECDPM’s recently published paper “The
EU, geopolitics and human development: Insights from Zambia, Kenya and Guinea”

14:45-15:50 Panel discussion and Q&A

  • Why is human development still important in this era of polycrisis and geopolitical change, and what will be needed to sustain it as a political priority in both the EU and partner countries?
  • How does the EU compare to other players in the support of human development?
  • How can the EU be a better partner in human development?
  • How to respond better to local and national interests?

15:50-16:00 Closing remarks by ECDPM

Watch the recording