Governance in the 2014-2017 Africa-EU Roadmap: First Strategic and Technical Meeting on the Operationalisation of the Africa-EU Roadmap’s 2014-2017 Governance Priority

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    Key Messages

    • It is important to build on the experience of the implementation of the former Africa-EU Partnership on Democracy and Human Rights. It provides a number of important lessons, which can inform an efficient and effective cooperation in the context of the Governance Priority of the EU-Africa Roadmap 2014-2017.
    • Governance is political and includes the delivery of good and services that all citizens can expect from their Governments, and that all governments are expected to provide to their citizens. Dialogue, as a result, should form an important component of cooperation under the Governance Priority.
    • Cooperation should take into account ongoing African initiatives to address governance issue especially the African Governance Architecture (AGA).

    The Governance Priority should focus on support to the AGA that entails among others political dialogue and effective coordination of implementation of African Union shared values. Particularly, four areas of cooperation could be envisaged:

    (i) Support to the implementation of the AGA’s work plan.

    (ii) Enhancing synergy and cooperation between peace and security and democratic governance architectures especially on preventive diplomacy, translating early warning to early action, political dialogue and mediation. Focus on this area could be on addressing unconstitutional changes of government.

    (iii) Dialogue on issues of common interest (i.e. fighting illicit financial flows).

    (iv) Dialogue on governance within the context of the post-2015 OSD Agenda framework.

    From 21-22 November 2014, the Africa Governance Institute (AGI) and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) convened a strategic technical meeting on the Africa-EU Roadmap 2014-2017 Governance priority in Pretoria, South Africa. The meeting benefited from the financial support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau. It brought together representatives from civil society organisations, youth, the media, foundations, the AUC, the EU, the RECs, Member States as well as independent experts. 

    Faten Aggad-Clerx Head of Programme at ECDPM's Africa’s Change Dynamics co-chaired this event. Faten briefed the Africa group about the post EU-Africa summit discussions and prepare their input into the Joint Annual Forum, specifically on the governance priority.

    The objectives of the meeting were as follows:

    • Popularising the outcome of the 4th Africa–EU Summit and content of the JAES 2014-2017 roadmap;
    • Bring on board relevant stakeholders and discuss implementation work programme, and need for a platform of dialogue and coordination shared responsibilities;
    • Provide input to the format and structure of the JAF as well as salient issues for discussion during the forum;
    • Facilitate a common understanding on the current and prospective policy entry points with regard to Governance Priority;
    • Map out the key focus areas of the Governance Priority as articulated in the Roadmap in order to ensure adequate implementation; and
    • Identify the right tools and mechanisms as well as appropriate structures that could facilitate the work of stakeholders engaged in the Governance Priority.

    Discussions were structured around three broad sets of reflection, namely:

    (i) Strategising Africa’s cooperation with the EU on Governance;

    (ii) Implementation modalities of the revitalised cooperation on governance including financing; and
    (iii) Structure of the follow up and their linkages with existing structures. These were contextualised by the outcome of the 2014 joint Summit, reflections on the last 7 years of the implementation of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy (JAES) and continuous deliberations on the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in the partnership. Particular focus was made to defining  African governance priorities. The Meeting was held under the Chatham House rules inviting participants to speak in their personal capacity and opening the floor to frank discussions.  
    Photo Courtesy of European Council. 
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