Making policies work


Regional approaches to conflict prevention in Africa European support to African processes

October 2003

Alexander, L. Higazi, A. Mackie, J. Niño-Perez, J. and A.Sherriff. 2003. Regional approaches to conflict prevention in Africa European support to African processes. (ECDPM In Brief 4). Maastricht : ECDPM

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A number of African leaders are developing and promoting a dynamic new peace and security agenda through the African Union (AU), the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and African regional organisations. This has not gone unnoticed by the international community, which is in an increasingly receptive mood. First, in light of their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals, donors are eager to support promising African-led initiatives to reduce the high incidence of conflict on the continent, because they are keen to improve the impact of their development support on poverty reduction. Second, the US-declared ‘war on terror’ has sparked concern that Africa’s conflicts could create fertile breeding grounds and ‘supply routes’ for terrorism. African and international attention is therefore focused on conflict on the continent as never before.

The European Union, for its part, has been building on various policy advances that it has made on conflict issues since 2000. In addition to participating actively in the debate, the EU has demonstrated its willingness to back African initiatives with financial resources. 

At the AU Summit in Maputo, the EU expressed its commitment to conflict prevention by engaging African leaders in discussions on a medium-term support facility for peace and security – before the ink was even dry on a contract for a first EUR 10 million grant2 to the AU for conflict prevention. Previously, in mid 2002, the European Commission had pushed for the inclusion of conflict prevention as one of the sectors identified for support from the European Development Fund (EDF) in the four Regional Indicative Programmes (RIPs) of the African ACP regions. 

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Security and ResilienceInBriefs (series)New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)

External authors

Lindsay Alexander

Adam Higazi

Javier Niño-Perez