Nadia Ashraf and Jeske van Seters, ECDPM paper, January 2020
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia envisages to develop an Africa strategy to steer Estonia’s development cooperation with the continent. While Estonia currently has limited presence in Africa, it is opportune timing for the country to step up its engagement, given that African countries are undergoing major transformations and the continent has recently received greater prominence in the EU agenda. This report provides input to inform Estonia’s Africa strategy in particular to guide the focus, scope and structure.
The report gives an overview of the current and future economic, social and political landscape of the African continent to highlight major opportunities and challenges for sustainable development. It also presents information on development cooperation activities of EU institutions, member states and other main donors in Africa. The focus is particularly on sectors of interest to Estonia: agro-industries, forest industries, ICT and renewable energy.
Based on this analysis and a review of Africa strategies and approaches of a select number of EU member states, the report then presents key criteria to guide the geographical and sectoral focus of Estonia’s Africa strategy. This includes a consideration of the development needs of African countries, as well as Estonia’s national interests, comparative advantages and diplomatic presence in African countries. Division of labour, in terms of coordination and cooperation with other development partners active in the countries and sectors of interest, is also a key consideration for guiding Estonia’s Africa strategy.
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In this dossier, we share insights on relations between the two continents. We will continue updating it with key analyses on the important policy processes and on the upcoming AU-EU summit, which make 2020 a crucial year for Africa-Europe relations.
Photo courtesy of Arno Mikkor for EU2017EE Estonian Presidency via Flickr.