Together with the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) and ahead of the European Commission’s new EU research and innovation strategy, planned to be released later this year, ECDPM has looked into research and innovation collaboration between Europe and Africa, sharing some concrete recommendations.
Dear Mr Uyttendaele, thanks for your ideas on how European and African SME can make business together and, if I interpret your comment on the Marshall plan correctly, the reminder of partneships based on interest. Our approach does not prevent and most likely would support your views in this regard. Our briefing, based on wider ECDPM work (https://bit.ly/2Y9GMNR and https://bit.ly/2zI3VNW), calls in fact for a partnership between Europe and Africa that recognises African capacities, including working with businesses for example through the European Innovation Council. I struggle to see how our work is 'captured by ODA specialists'. While I am of the view that aid is an important resource, the substance of our work is that Europe and Africa need to invest more heavily in other forms of collaboration, including making African governments responsible for their own investments in research and innovation and grounding their relationships more clearly in common goals and interests.
- A third way, beyond aid and solidarity. African SMEs forge industrial partnerships with EU SMEs for mutual benefit. They transform locally African raw materials in short climate friendly value chains and create millions of decent jobs in a formal economy. - This brief, ‘A new approach to partnering with Africa’, is still captured by ODA specialists and institutions devoted to aid. It perpetuates the stigma of an Africa in need for ‘aid’ and dissuades EU industries to invest in Africa. - PS. The 1947 ‘cold war’ US Marshall Plan, a plan ‘beyond aid’: (1) to create in Europe and in Japan a market for US products; (2) to create a strong geopolitical alliance against communism.