What are some landlocked countries in Africa

52005DC0489

[pic] | COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES |

Brussels, 12 October 2005

COM (2005) 489 final

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE

A European Union Strategy for Africa: Paving the Way for a Europe-Africa Pact to Accelerate Africa's Development {SEC (2005) 1255}

introduction

The African continent is in a state of upheaval. The international community has become increasingly aware of this in recent years, especially as the continent is sending out clear signals that the dynamics required for change are in place. The establishment of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the strengthened role of the Regional Economic Communities (REC) in Africa and the growth of a new political elite in the African states have changed Africa. This also affects relations between Africa and Europe.

Relations between Europe and Africa are not new, they look back on a long history. If the beginnings of these relationships were often painful colonial political ties, they have now developed into a strong and equal partnership based on common interests, mutual recognition and accountability. Due to the close trade links between Europe and Africa, the European Union is the largest export market for African goods. Around 85% of Africa's cotton, fruit and vegetable exports go to the European Union. However, Europe and Africa are also linked by long-term and predictable inflows of funds. In 2003 the EU provided a total of € 15 billion in development aid to Africa (up from € 5 billion in 1985). The European Union is by far the largest donor: 60% of the total ODA flowing into Africa comes from the EU. However, while some EU member states have maintained political, economic and cultural ties with individual African countries and regions for years, others are more new to African politics and development cooperation. At Community level, the European Commission has gained extensive experience over the last few decades and has concluded a number of contractual agreements with various parts of Africa that provide the contracting parties with a solid basis for predictability and security.

But for too long, the European Union's relations with Africa, both in terms of political structure and implementation, have been determined by far too much fragmentation: they are the subject of the various policies and measures of the EU member states and the European Commission, trade cooperation and economic development cooperation, more traditional socio-economic development efforts and strategic policies. Neither Europe nor Africa can afford such a situation. Therefore, the aim of this Africa strategy is to give the European Union a coherent, comprehensive, integrated and long-term framework for its relations with Africa.

One Africa: Africa has many faces, not just one history and very different needs. At the same time, however, the African continent has embarked on the path of political, economic and cultural integration. With the regional integration efforts of the regional economic communities (REC) and the founding of the AU and NEPAD, Africa has set new and unmistakable signals. In the EU's Africa strategy, Africa is therefore seen as a unit for the first time. As part of this strategy, the EU will expand its dialogue with the pan-African institutions. The strategy also aims to harness the full potential of the recently revised Cotonou Agreement, the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The aforementioned agreements regulate the EU's relations with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa or with South Africa and the North African countries.

One Europe: Europe has also changed. Since the enlargement of the European Union by ten new Member States, there are now 26 potential partners: the 25 Member States and the EC. On the one hand, enlargement has increased the EU's political and economic opportunities, but it also presents the enlarged Union with new tasks and challenges in terms of the coordination and complementarity of its aid. That is why issues of aid effectiveness and donor coordination will play a central role in the EU strategy for Africa in the coming years.

Common goals: It is the declared intention of the European Union to work in partnership with the countries of Africa in order to promote peace and prosperity for their citizens. In this EU Africa Strategy, the fundamental aim is to support Africa in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG). This overarching objective is further differentiated and completed by the specific objectives pursued with the Cotonou Agreement, the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation with South Africa, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy (including support for political reform and economic modernization).

This Africa strategy should further strengthen the solid strategic partnership between the enlarged Europe and a new Africa. It is hoped that this partnership will result in an official Europe-Africa pact that can be formally adopted at a second EU-Africa summit in Lisbon. The new strategy is intended to consolidate the principles that determine these relationships - above all equality, partnership and personal responsibility (“ownership”) - and give them new weight. While these principles are not new, their meaning and impact have changed with external political and economic change. Given the growing importance of the Regional Economic Communities (REC) and the African Union (AU) as well as the increasing complexity of EU-Africa relations, subsidiarity and solidarity will form two important pillars of the European Africa strategy. In addition, relations between the European Union and Africa must increasingly be governed by a culture of dialogue, which is a fundamental element of the various EU treaties.

Crucial to the success of this partnership is its ability to permanently strengthen the ties between the two continents beyond official political and economic ties. An important component of such a broad dialogue is the establishment of twinning partnerships that bring together African and European universities and schools, parliaments, cities, municipalities, companies and industries, trade unions, civil society networks and museums. Another innovative proposal is the establishment of a European program for people who want to learn more about the development of Africa and who want to use their respective expertise to support it.

The strategy must reflect the different economic and social realities that exist between and within the African countries, as well as their different legal relationships that exist with the EU. For all countries that are still a long way from the Millennium Development Goals, the EU should expand its support in the following fields of action: ensuring good starting conditions for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (peace and security, good governance), creation of one of the realization of the Millennium Development Goals conducive economic environment (economic growth, trade and interconnected networks) and measures directly related to the Millennium Development Goals (social cohesion, decent working conditions, equal opportunities and the environment). These goals should be complemented by support for economic integration and political cooperation with the EU, especially for those countries that are already close to the EU. Together, these measures form a common, comprehensive and coherent response to the development challenges in Africa.

Conditions for realizing the Millennium Development Goals

Over the past few decades, millions of people and decades of economic development efforts in Africa have fallen victim to bloody wars and armed conflicts. Today we know that without peace and security there can be no sustainable development. Peace and security are indispensable prerequisites for sustainable development. The EU should therefore intensify its efforts to promote peace and security in all phases of conflict - from conflict prevention, through conflict management and resolution, to post-conflict reconstruction. In recent years Africa has shown that it is ready and able to take on the planning, direction and implementation of its own peace-building activities. To support these efforts, the Peace Facility for Africa, which has rapidly become the financial foundation of the peace and security structure in Africa, should therefore be replenished and strengthened. In addition, the EU should continue to advocate environmentally sound management of natural resources in Africa, addressing the ecological causes of many conflicts.

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, security issues have been given top priority. Massive terrorist attacks were carried out both in the member states of the EU and in the North African partner states. The security of the citizens is therefore the top priority in Africa as well as in Europe. Today everyone recognizes the guarantee of security and the rule of law (including equality, justice and respect for human rights) as fundamental priorities to be pursued jointly by all.

The second fundamental requirement for sustainable development in Africa is good and effective governance. In this area too, Africa is sending positive signals of change. The African countries have jointly committed themselves to a catalog of progressive values ​​and principles of good governance. Some of them have even agreed to regular monitoring under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which is a unique tool for peer reviews and peer learning. The European Union should therefore launch a good governance initiative to encourage African countries to participate in the APRM process and to support the reforms resulting from the APRM system. An important element of this governance reform process is the creation and strengthening of credible national bodies at central government level (parliaments, police, judiciary and public finance systems) as well as at local or regional level. But governance issues are not just about institutions, but also about developing appropriate political concepts and ensuring appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks. Therefore, in the fight against corruption, money laundering and terrorism, the EU should continue to rely on transparency and the effective exchange of information between authorities. In addition, it should continue to campaign for the protection of human rights and the promotion of equal opportunities for disadvantaged groups, especially women, and in this context support the establishment of an EU-Africa human rights forum to promote the exchange of relevant expertise and resources. The countries benefiting from the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy should be supported on their way to good governance through a comprehensive Governance Facility.

Create an economic environment conducive to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

Despite the improvements in economic performance that have already been achieved, many parts of Africa are still marginalized in world trade. In our increasingly globalized world economy, only 2% of world trade is in Africa; the share of exports of industrial goods from Africa is negligible. According to the latest findings, if poverty is actually to be halved by 2015, Africa would have to achieve economic growth of at least 8% per year. The EU should therefore promote economic growth that is sufficiently rapid, but at the same time broad and sustainable, in order to contribute to an effective fight against poverty. It should continue to help African countries implement macroeconomic and structural policies that enable private investment and growth for the benefit of the poor. Another important vector for economic growth and regional integration is the expansion of south-south trade, north-south trade and multilateral trade. Greater economic integration within the region and the resulting larger markets and economies of scale foster growth. The development of integrated markets and the promotion of trade and development form the conceptual heart of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that the EU is currently negotiating with four regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Close coordination between trade and development policy is therefore essential. Both the Doha Development Agenda and the EPAs aim for the gradual integration of Africa into the world market. Furthermore, the EU should support the African countries in ensuring a stable, efficient and harmonized legal framework in order to strengthen private sector initiative (including in the field of electronic communications and services). In this context, the European Union should propose a Europe-Africa Business Forum, in which companies and public and private investors from Europe and Africa should be represented.

Macroeconomic stability, the development of regional markets and a climate conducive to investment are indispensable prerequisites for sustainable economic growth. But such a growth-oriented framework requires corresponding accompanying measures, on the one hand to stimulate and diversify economic production and, on the other hand, to build the necessary infrastructures and interconnected networks. The European Union should provide targeted assistance to strengthen the competitiveness and productivity of the African agricultural sector. As part of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy, the North African partner states are currently following a roadmap which, among other things, provides for the further liberalization of agricultural trade, trade in processed agricultural and fishery products and services, as well as the right of establishment aim to conclude negotiations by the end of 2006.

But the limited transport and communication services, inadequate energy and water supplies and poor sanitation are also slowing economic growth. The Commission should therefore propose an infrastructure partnership in order to support or initiate programs to develop continental interconnectivity and regional integration. As part of this partnership, the EU should support Africa's efforts to identify the missing links in trans-African and regional networks and to take appropriate measures to harmonize transport policy, develop integrated water management and cross-border and regional energy infrastructures and bridge the digital divide (under through initiatives to develop sustainable and cost-effective electronic communication services).

Measures to achieve the Millennium Development Goals

40% of all Africans live on less than a dollar a day. Only six out of ten African children go to primary school. Communicable diseases, particularly HIV / AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, have hit Africa hardest. In 2004 alone, more than two million people died of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and another three million were infected with AIDS.The EU should therefore do its part to provide the poorest in Africa with access to basic social services (MDG 1 - 6) and support the establishment of a social security network for the weakest. In addition to primary education, the European Union should promote education and research, access to and exchange of knowledge as part of lifelong learning, from secondary and higher education to vocational education. In addition, the EU should build on the success and experience of the Erasmus program and promote the establishment of a Nyerere-Erasmus program for student exchanges in Africa. The European Union should also contribute to the development of adequate health care through measures to strengthen national health systems, through capacity building, health-related research and by replenishing the Global Fund to Fight HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These services also need to be underpinned by further improvements in access to water and sanitation, green energy and ICT. Unrestricted participation of non-governmental partners should be ensured in all of these areas in order to strengthen personal responsibility and improve the range of services for the poor. If poverty is to be prevented or even eradicated, everyone must be offered productive employment with decent working conditions. In Africa young professionals only find work in the informal economy, where low productivity, low wages, poor working and living conditions and little or no social security are commonplace.

While all of the above are important, they will not be enough on their own to overcome existing inequalities and lack of social cohesion. The latest developments in Africa - population boom, rapid urbanization and significant migratory movements - present us with new challenges. For this reason, there is a need for an integrated approach to promoting sustainable urban development that includes responsible urban governance and responsible urban management as fundamental components, as well as better spatial planning and land use. In addition, more far-reaching efforts are required to use the ongoing migration movements as a positive force for the development process and, for example, to convert the “brain drain” (withdrawal of intelligence) into a “brain gain” (gain in intelligence) or better control of migration flows.

Africa's ecological system is fragile and threatened by water scarcity, climate change and desertification. In addition, there is a shortage of land due to the current population growth and the expansion of agriculture, as well as a deterioration of soils in the course of the intensification of agriculture. An intact environment has advantages that extend far beyond the borders of Africa. Above all, however, it is the most important asset for the sustainable development of Africa, so that its protection requires the support of the EU. Only sustainable development in Africa makes it possible to secure the livelihood of the poor in the medium and long term. Targeted areas of action include the preservation of biodiversity through the support of a suitable legal framework for the environmentally friendly use of natural resources, the management of ecological diversity, the containment of desertification and the coping with the effects of climate change. In this context, it will be particularly important to build up the necessary knowledge at the local level in order to be able to provide reliable information on the location, condition and development of ecological resources, the food situation and critical situations.

More and more effective help

Even though substantial funds have already been allocated to aid efforts in Africa and these have even been increased in recent years, greater political and financial commitment is required to give Africa the start-up aid it needs to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. In June 2005 the European Council made such an ambitious commitment. On the basis of a proposal from the Commission, the European Council pledged to double development aid between 2004 and 2010 and to allocate half of this aid to Africa. The EU is therefore well on the way to achieving the target set by the United Nations of providing 0.7% of GNI in official development aid (ODA) by 2015 at the latest. Compared to the budget expected for 2006, this commitment should generate additional funds of around EUR 20 billion per year (by 2010) or EUR 46 billion per year (by 2015) for ODA. The EU also agreed to use at least 50% of this additional funding for Africa.

However, EU aid should not only be increased but also improved. In the next few years, the effectiveness of the aid must be given a particularly high priority. Due to a lack of coordination and complementarity between the donors, good and mature development policy concepts have often not produced the desired development policy results. The EU has made considerable progress in this regard, most recently at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Paris (March 2005). To take these achievements even further, the EU should now adopt an action plan to improve aid effectiveness and apply it primarily to sub-Saharan Africa. This action plan will pave the way for concrete proposals for the establishment of an operational and interactive EU donor council, for the agreement of individual country roadmaps for the harmonization of donor activities, the adoption of joint programming documents and the development of common procedures. In addition, the EU should develop general and sector budget support. This not only improves the transparency, predictability and results orientation of aid delivery, but also strengthens the EU's political leverage. Overall, however, it must be made clear that the substantial increases in the flow of funds are serving their purpose and helping the recipient countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Conclusion

For some years now, a forward-looking Africa that exudes more confidence, dynamism and optimism has been claiming a place on the international stage again. There has been significant progress in good governance over the past few years and economic growth has been sustained for the first time in decades. In addition, the African Union and NEPAD as well as the regional organizations have drawn up political and economic development plans and a future vision for Africa. Africa’s development is now high on the international political agenda and there is broad international consensus on the fundamental actions to be taken. Now is the unique opportunity to take Africa a long way on its path to sustainable development. The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy have given North Africa the real possibility of a new and deeper Mediterranean partnership - a prospect that will be reaffirmed at the upcoming ten-year anniversary of the Barcelona Declaration.

As a long-standing partner and close neighbor of Africa, the EU is in a good position to take a leading role in this process. Europe and Africa are linked by a common history, cultural ties and common goals. The sustainable social, economic and political development of Africa is therefore in our common interest. Africa propagates a new vision for the future of the continent; now the EU should respond quickly and responsibly to this call. The next ten years (2005-2015) will mark a turning point in relations between Europe and Africa. The EU strategy for Africa set out in this communication, which is expected to be adopted by the Council in December 2005, is the EU's response to a major challenge: helping Africa move on to sustainable development and, by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals to reach. This is our common mission and our common duty.

ATTACHMENT

CONTENT

1. Africa has many faces

1.1. Geopolitical Developments: Areas in Uncertainty and Poles of Stability

1.2. Geo-Economic Developments: Different Approaches to Growth

1.3. Geosocial Developments: Signs of Progress and Clusters of Inequality

1.4. Geoecological Developments: Management of Natural Resources and Poverty Reduction

2. The principles of the relationship between the EU and Africa

2.1. The longstanding relationship between the EU and Africa

2.1.1. A comprehensive network of agreements

2.1.2. A new development policy framework

2.2. A quantum leap in relations between the EU and Africa

2.2.1. A changing Africa as a partner: equality, partnership and personal responsibility

2.2.2. Consideration of the different levels of action: subsidiarity and solidarity

2.2.3. Cooperation and continuity through political dialogue

3. A tripartite EU strategy

3.1. Increase EU support in priority areas

3.1.1. Conditions for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and good governance

3.1.1.1. Promoting peace and security

3.1.1.2. Support lawful and effective governance

3.1.2. Creating a positive economic environment

3.1.2.1. Stimulating the economy

3.1.2.2. Expansion of networks in Africa

3.1.3. Direct action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals

3.1.3.1. Putting people at the center of development

3.1.3.2. An environmentally friendly development

3.2. Increase in EU funds for Africa

3.3. A more effective EU approach

4. Conclusions

introduction

The African continent is in a state of upheaval. The international community has become increasingly aware of this in recent years, especially as the continent is sending out clear signals that the dynamics required for change are in place. With the establishment of the "New Partnership for Africa's Development" (NEPAD) in 2001 and the African Union (AU) in the following year, Africa has given itself a strategy and organs with which it can support political and can initiate economic integration. The Cotonou Agreement, the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) provide the framework within which the EU supports this process. Important building blocks of this continental integration process are the regional economic communities (REC) to promote economic growth and political stability. At the national level, too, many states have made significant advances in governance. In the past five years, multi-party elections have taken place in more than two-thirds of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, in the late 1990s there were first signs that sub-Saharan Africa had overcome the economic stagnation of the past two decades. As early as 2004, the region recorded a real increase in GDP of 5.1% compared to 4.2% in 2003 and an average annual growth of 2.3% in the period from 1980 to 2000.

Despite considerable progress, however, Africa has only come a small part of the road to sustainable development. Today 40% of all Africans still have to get by on less than a dollar a day; three out of four AIDS deaths are Africans, and one in five Africans lives in a country in which there is war or other armed conflict. In the group of the twenty countries with the lowest per capita income in the world, there are eighteen countries in Africa, and only in the countries on the African continent has life expectancy - in contrast to all other developing countries - continued to decrease over the past thirty years. There is no doubt that much greater political determination and much more financial resources will be required so that Africa can achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) enshrined in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, if not by 2015 as actually planned, then at least by 2050 .

Europe is a long-term partner and closest neighbor to Africa. From an economic, political and strategic point of view, Africa's development is also in Europe's interest. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is a shared goal and concern. Therefore the European Union, i. H. All 25 Member States and the European Commission, now seize the unique opportunity presented by the new dynamism in Africa to develop a common, coherent and comprehensive strategy in which Africa is implementing the “Commission's package of measures on the Millennium Development Goals "[I] and in the" European Consensus "[ii] - the EU's new development policy - is given absolute priority. The communication sets out a long-term EU strategy to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, which is due for adoption by the European Council in December 2005. This strategy in turn should serve as the foundation for a new Europe-Africa Pact, which the EU should work towards its adoption at an EU-Africa summit in Lisbon. The EU's Africa Strategy is based on extensive consultations with the African Union and the regional economic communities and should capitalize on the potential of the recently revised Cotonou Agreement, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP).

If the above objectives are to be achieved, the EU must take into account the different political, economic, social and environmental trends (Section 1) and the principles on which EU-Africa relations should be based (Section 2). Therefore, the EU should take a three-pronged approach in its strategy of i) strengthening EU support in priority areas, ii) increasing EU funding for Africa and iii) developing and pursuing a more effective approach (Section 3).

1. AFRICA HAS MANY FACES

There is not just one Africa today. The many different political regimes, the different historical circumstances, the numerous cultures and religions as well as the very specific economic and geographical conditions mean that there are often very large differences between the African peoples, countries and regions. This section is not intended to be an exhaustive presentation of all these differences, as there is sufficient specialist literature on this, but rather aims to address some particularly important recent trends and developments in recent years, as these form the starting point for the European Union's Africa strategy.

1.1. Geopolitical Developments: Areas in Uncertainty and Poles of Stability

Attracted by the economic potential of the African continent and its political and strategic importance, various new "external actors" have appeared on the African stage in recent years. The changed geopolitical conditions mean new challenges, but also new opportunities for the formulation and implementation of the EU's Africa policy. Emerging countries such as Brazil, India and China are now important foreign investors and new export markets for African goods. Due to its economic and political importance, the People's Republic of China should be discussed in more detail at this point. The volume of trade between the People's Republic of China and Africa has increased from USD 10 billion (2000) to USD 28.5 billion (2004), and since 2000 the People's Republic of China has obtained more than 25% of its crude oil from Africa. Despite radical domestic political changes, the People's Republic of China was able to maintain its relations with various African states; they are now hoping for new trade opportunities with China. The People's Republic of China is an important and long-term source of financial income, especially for countries whose economies are largely dependent on oil and raw material exports, which, moreover, are mostly not integrated into the traditional frameworks of development cooperation and governance structures.

In addition, various long-term partners in Africa are showing renewed interest in Africa. The United States of America is investing again in Africa for various reasons, with new concerns such as access to oil sources, counter-terrorism and global competitiveness playing a role alongside traditional fields of action such as development, good governance and political stability.With regard to Japan, the meetings between high-ranking representatives of Africa and Japan that have been held regularly since the 1990s (e.g. the Tokyo International Conference for the African Development - TICAD) make it clear that Africa is becoming increasingly important in Japanese foreign and economic policy. Russia has essentially intensified its relations with a number of African countries since 2001, relying above all on the potential of the energy sector and mining in these countries.

Even more important than these external influences, however, are the political developments in Africa itself. While some African states and regions are suffering from armed conflict and vulnerability to crises or are in the middle of reconstruction, other states have enjoyed peace and security for a long time with corresponding economic and political stability and democratic participation. These stable countries have an important role to play in stabilizing their regions; they are examples of what can be achieved under favorable political circumstances. The last few decades have been times of sustained stability for most of North Africa. In West Africa, Ghana is an outstanding example of a well-governed and stable country that has succeeded in translating economic growth into concrete developmental progress. In the East African region, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have grown together in the course of political stability and with the help of regional economic integration to form a community of stability that stands in sharp contrast to the structural instability of the Great Lakes region and the Horn of Africa. Countries such as Rwanda and Burundi, which are still in the process of reconstruction after the end of the conflicts there, have in recent years made greater efforts to establish closer political and economic relations with this group of East African countries. In southern Africa, despite the very tense and critical situation in Zimbabwe, there is a similar group of stable countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. But not all stable countries are examples of good or good governance at the same time.

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Map 1: Conflicts in fragile states in Africa (2000-2005). Sources: 2004 conflict barometer of the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research and the LICUS initiative of the World Bank (Low Income Countries Under Stress).

At the same time, some of the largest African countries act as so-called "anchor countries", i. H. they play a central role in their region and are both an important economic and political force for their neighbors. In addition to some North African countries, Nigeria and South Africa in particular are leading anchor countries for West Africa and southern Africa, respectively. Because of the size of their economies and their commitment to regional and continental integration, they are an engine of economic development and political stability in Africa. The political leaders of these two countries, President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Thabo Mbeki, often perform their peacemaking roles well beyond the borders of their own subregions. In view of the considerable private investments in the Great Lakes region, South Africa also has a great economic interest in the stability and prosperity of this region.

Despite these positive developments in Africa, there are two areas in which conflicts and instability repeatedly prevail: the region around the West African River Mano and an area that stretches from Sudan via the Horn of Africa to the eastern Congo in East and Central Africa extends. There are numerous conflict countries and fragile states in these two regions. H. States weakened by domestic crises and conflicts or natural disasters, in which there is often no trustworthy, democratically elected government or no effective governance. The West African sub-region around the Mano River includes Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The cross-border conflict there, which is not least about control of the rich mineral deposits and natural resources (including diamonds and wood), has been going on for more than ten years and has plunged the entire region into a deep refugee crisis and thus regional instability further tightened. There are now up to a million refugees in Guinea. The effects of this crisis situation can also be felt beyond the borders of this region and are affecting the situation in Casamance in the north-west of Senegal and, since 2002, also the situation in the east in Côte d'Ivoire.

A second line of instability can be drawn from Sudan through the Central African Republic, northern Uganda and eastern Congo to the Horn of Africa. The conflicts there are based on a complex network of structural problems (poor management of limited natural resources, poor political leadership, uncontrolled refugee flows, arms trade between the regions and human trafficking). The conclusion of the far-reaching peace agreement in Sudan (January 2005) was an important political breakthrough and could prove to be a turning point for the entire region. The same applies to the positive dynamics in Somalia, where until recently a state collapse was assumed. However, the ongoing Darfur conflict in Sudan, the “forgotten war” in northern Uganda, the continued insecurity in the east and north of the Central African Republic and the unstable situation in eastern Congo remain a matter of great concern.

This instability and insecurity is exacerbated by increasing cross-border organized crime. The African continent has become an important stop for international drug smugglers. A total of 89% of African countries are either the starting point, stopover or target of human trafficking. But the theft or smuggling of natural resources and the illegal arms trade are also increasing. At the same time, illegal drug trafficking and drug consumption pose a particularly great threat to the African continent. The African and especially the West African drug networks are among the largest in the world. A quarter of all cannabis goods seized come from Africa. But the illegal trade in and consumption of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine-like stimulants is also increasing.

1.2. Geo-Economic Developments: Different Approaches to Growth

Growth can be achieved in very different ways. According to the latest findings, sustainable use of natural resources, agricultural development and investment in human resource development, all of which should be underpinned by sound investment conditions, are crucial factors in economic growth.

There are several countries in Africa that are rich in natural resources. They are mainly found in northern and southern Africa, in the south of the Great Lakes region and around the Gulf of Guinea. However, growth in these countries has so far been very different. Some countries in the southern belt have managed to use these resources as a sustainable source of income and growth. The experiences of Botswana and South Africa have shown that with appropriate political support, mineral extraction can be a solid basis for sustainable growth. Other parts of Africa (including the Gulf of Guinea countries) have had exceptionally good economic results due to the recent and sharp rise in oil prices. In 2004, the real GDP growth rate per capita for Equatorial Guinea was 31.5%. The resulting inflow of foreign capital not only opened up new opportunities, but also required both political and economic levels to convert and steer the new wealth into sustainable development. When using resources other than oil and gas, the results are different. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the third largest average reserves of hydropower in the world after China and Russia. Only 2% of this is used so far. In contrast, Mozambique has meanwhile developed into an important exporter of electricity.

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Map 2: GDP per capita and natural resources in Africa. Source: World Development Indicators 2004 (World Bank).

Since African countries, which are dependent on the export of their agricultural commodities, often only have a very small export range, they are particularly vulnerable to long-term price drops and are completely helpless in the face of fluctuations in world market prices for these goods. In the period from 1980 to 2000 real prices for sugar fell by 77%, for cocoa by 71%, for coffee by 64% and for cotton by 47%. Agricultural growth requires both an increase in agricultural production and management of the general vulnerability and volatility of the sector. The higher yields of cassava and rice growing in West Africa are a good example of the first option. In East African countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, the traditional export range has been expanded to include new goods with some success, and in Kenya, horticulture is now the fastest growing subsector of agriculture. The rapid expansion of fish and fish product exports to Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda is another example of how sustainable development can successfully diversify production. Regional trade could also be expanded considerably. Even a landlocked country like Mali could become a major rice exporter through increased trade and greater regional integration.

Another important growth factor is the investment climate: it has to be reliable and attractive. At the moment, the vast majority of investments in Africa come from Africa (80%). Only 20% of the investments come from abroad. It should come as no surprise that there is a direct correlation between stability and governance in each country and the investment climate. Issues like transparency and accountability are crucial for potential investors. After a far-reaching economic reform, Uganda was able to improve its GDP by around 7% per year between 1993 and 2002 and reduce the proportion of the population living below the poverty line from 56% (1992) to 35% (2005). In Tanzania, the largest growth to date in 15 years can be attributed to the improved investment climate. For these countries, cooperation and dialogue with national and international business circles was a decisive factor in improving the investment climate.

Another important factor in the investment climate is regional integration, i. H. the creation of larger harmonized markets that make investing in productive sectors more attractive. In this context, the establishment of regional interconnected networks as well as the development of corresponding policies and targeted promotion of trade play a decisive role. In recent years there has been a significant increase in intra-regional trade, largely thanks to regional integration programs. The intra-regional trade volume on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), within the framework of which a free trade area was created in 2002, rose in 2003 by 25% to EUR 5 billion. In North Africa, the EU supported the expansion of south-south trade and regional integration through the Agadir Free Trade Agreement signed in February 2004.

In these regions, the creation of relevant interconnected networks contributes significantly to improving the environment for trade and integration, as they reduce business costs and facilitate access to other markets. These factors are particularly important for island states that require targeted attention and support. Given that many African countries have made little progress in expanding and diversifying their exports, dynamic regional integration that would make Africa more competitive on the world market is not only desirable but essential. In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the range of products they export has barely changed over the past twenty years and even today often only comprises a small number of unprocessed raw materials. It is therefore not surprising that the share of countries in sub-Saharan Africa in world trade has fallen from 3% in 1950 to less than 2%. If growth and development are to be accelerated, a controlled and continuous opening is required, which should initially take place in a regional framework and can then later be expanded to the international level. As Africa's most important trading partner, the EU therefore plays a leading role as a supporter of these integration processes (around 85% of cotton, fruit and vegetable exports from Africa go to the European Union).

1.3. Geosocial Developments: Signs of Progress and Clusters of Inequality

Not only in terms of peace, stability, trade and growth is a very mixed picture in Africa, the level of “human development” also shows extreme differences. In this way, a continuous poverty line can be drawn through the entire African continent. At the same time, however, it can be seen that the development takes place very differently in the countries and regions, depending on the socio-political context and government policy. This can be seen from the respective indicators on the status of equality of opportunity, education and health, whereby similar regional differences can also be determined with regard to equality / disadvantage of the sexes, access to basic services and ecological sustainability.

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Map 3: HIV / AIDS prevalence and literacy rates in Africa. Sources: UNAIDS 2004 Annual Report and United Nations Millennium Indicators Database (2004).

Although some African countries can show very impressive growth figures, this growth often has no positive impact on the poverty situation due to the extremely unequal distribution of income. Unfortunately, there is not automatically a direct link between a country's general prosperity and its performance in terms of sustainable development, decent working conditions and poverty reduction. The group of extremely unequal societies (countries with a particularly large income gap) includes many poor countries (e.g. Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic), but also richer countries such as Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa. The largest income gap, however, is in Namibia. A relatively even distribution of income is observed in countries such as Ghana and Uganda. In these countries, growth is more closely linked to sustainable poverty reduction.

In view of the continuous and substantial population growth, job creation is and remains the greatest challenge in the context of social development and poverty reduction. In most African countries the employment situation remains precarious. The vast majority of new jobs for young professionals are in the informal economy, where low productivity, low wages, poor working conditions, low opportunities for advancement and little or no social security are common. The situation is particularly difficult for women and ethnic minorities. In contrast, child labor is common in many countries and an important source of income for many families. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, it is estimated that the number of young jobseekers will increase by 28% (or 30 million people) over the next 15 years [iii].

The gradually increasing literacy rate is also cause for hope. Even in the poorest countries such as Burkina Faso, Benin and Eritrea, the numbers available for primary education show progress: Between 1990 and 2001, the number of children enrolled in primary schools in sub-Saharan Africa rose by 48%. Overall, the school enrollment rate in southern and eastern Africa is lower than in the rest of Africa. In the secondary sector, school attendance in the Sahel countries Niger and Chad is particularly poor at well below 10%. Within these countries, schooling for children in rural areas is even worse and certain groups (e.g. girls, disabled children and orphans) are almost entirely excluded from schooling.

Communicable diseases are an immense problem in many countries and regions in Africa. Southern and Eastern Africa are hardest hit by the HIV / AIDS pandemic. But the epidemic is also spreading in West Africa, albeit less drastically. Only the countries in North Africa have so far been more or less spared the far-reaching consequences.The adult prevalence rate ranges from less than one percent (Senegal and Mauritania) to over 25% in Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho, where the pandemic undermined decades of intense development efforts and average life expectancy has fallen significantly. Despite the terrible diseases that are rampant in Africa, the continent is experiencing impressive demographic growth of 2.2-2.8% per year. If this growth continues, there would be at least two billion people in Africa within forty years.

1.4. Geoecological Developments: Management of Natural Resources and Poverty Reduction

The prevailing view in Africa still seems to be that environmental protection is simply a luxury. Yet everything indicates that environmental degradation often contributes to poverty. If the forests are cut down and the water sources are exhausted or polluted, it is the poor in Africa and especially children and women who suffer. A politically, socially and economically sound development strategy for Africa must therefore work towards the sustainable management of natural resources.

The African continent is characterized by its ecological diversity. The climatic conditions range from the hot and humid tropical climate in West and Central Africa and on the western islands in the Indian Ocean to arid and semi-arid climates in the southern countries of Africa. Climate change, however, will continue to strain water resources, affect biodiversity and human health, make food security more difficult and continue to drive desertification. Hydrometeorological natural disasters such as floods and drought are not uncommon in all of Africa and will continue to increase due to climatic change. Early warning systems and disaster management, on the other hand, are hardly in place or not very well developed. Africa must therefore adapt to climate change if it wants to secure its development.

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Map 4: Ecological threats to Africa (source: United Nations Environment Program - UNEP).

Two thirds of the total African land area is in arid and semi-arid areas, and 34% of the African population lives in arid areas (in Europe this is only 2%). Land is of central importance for the development of Africa, because 60% of the population live from agriculture. In the course of the agricultural development of the last thirty years, peripheral areas have been cultivated, but important natural habitats such as forests and wetlands have also been cleared or drained. Such conversion measures are the main cause of soil degradation. The western islands of the Indian Ocean are so scarce that coastal wetlands are being destroyed and swamps are being drained so they can be used as building land. The drainage of wetlands for agricultural use is not only a threat to natural habitats and biodiversity, but also deprives livestock farmers of their livelihood.

Soil erosion reduces soil productivity and forces farmers to use more fertilizers and other chemicals to counteract declining yields. Land degradation and poverty are also closely linked. In order to raise awareness of this problem, it is therefore not only necessary to involve the direct user of the natural resources. In certain cases, those affected must also be shown other ways in which they can earn a living. According to a new study, 46% of the African continent and almost 500 million people are affected by desertification processes, with the areas bordering on deserts being most affected (see map above).

Africa has an average of 4,050 km3 / year of renewable water resources; the global average is 7,000 m3 per inhabitant per year. Surface and groundwater are spatially very unevenly distributed. At least 13 countries suffered from poor water supplies or water scarcity in 1990. The number of these countries is forecast to have doubled by 2015. Groundwater is one of the most important water sources, accounting for 15% of the total water available in Africa. Groundwater is used for household and agricultural purposes in many areas, especially in arid subregions where there is little surface water. However, there is also a risk of water scarcity for areas that are highly dependent on groundwater reserves, since the water reserves are exhausted much faster than they are replenished.

It is estimated that the African forest stands cover 650 million hectares. This corresponds to 17% of the total forest area on earth. The African forests are the source of many goods and services. According to a study carried out in Madagascar, forest products generate revenues of US $ 200,000 for local villages over ten years. For Ghana it has been estimated that 16% to 20% of the food supply is covered by forestry products. Deforestation, either for timber production or as part of clearing for agricultural purposes, is worrying and represents a significant loss of natural economic wealth for the continent. Selective clearing and over-harvesting of forest resources other than wood resources (including medicinal plants) exacerbate the problem. The construction of new access roads also poses a further threat to forests and forests, as previously untouched forest areas are developed, the forest and timber resources are easier to reach and the timber trade becomes more profitable as a result.

2. THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE EU AND AFRICA IN ITS PRINCIPLES

2.1. The longstanding relationship between the EU and Africa

2.1.1. A comprehensive network of agreements

EU-Africa relations look back on a long history. Over the past few decades, the European Community and the Member States have entered into contractual agreements with various parts of Africa, which reflect the historical and political diversity and the different needs of the countries on this continent [iv].

The Lomé I Convention was signed in 1975 and was the first framework agreement with the countries in sub-Saharan Africa as part of the ACP group of countries. This pioneering agreement already contained important principles such as partnership, the contractual nature of the relationship and the long-term predictability of the inflow of funds. Following various conditions of the Lomé Convention, in 2000 the EC and its member states signed the Cotonou Agreement with the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, which is valid for twenty years. The Cotonou Agreement, which was amended in 2005, combines the political dimension with trade and development aspects in its comprehensive framework. At the same time, South Africa signed a very ambitious trade, development and cooperation agreement with the EU [v].

The EU's relations with the states of North Africa are regulated within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Association Agreement as well as the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) [vi] with the corresponding ENP action plans. The Euro-Mediterranean partnerships were launched with the Barcelona Declaration, which formulated the three main objectives of Mediterranean policy as follows: a) Creating an area of ​​peace and stability based on fundamental principles including respect for human rights and the Democracy; b) creating an area of ​​mutual prosperity through economic and financial partnership and the gradual establishment of a free trade area between the European Union and the Mediterranean partners; and c) developing a partnership in the social, cultural and interpersonal fields through the development of human resources and the promotion of understanding between cultures and exchanges between civil societies. This partnership is anchored in bilateral association agreements between the European Union and each individual partner country [vii]. Building on this, the European Neighborhood Policy offers these countries an ever closer relationship with the EU, which is associated with a high degree of economic integration and deepening political cooperation. It is based on an approach based on partnership, shared responsibility and differentiation that aims to contribute to security and prosperity in Europe's immediate neighbors [viii]. All five North African countries are benefiting from the European Neighborhood Policy, implementation of which began in 2005 with a first set of ENP Action Plans (including the Action Plans for Tunisia and Morocco). They are the result of in-depth discussions with the respective partner countries and contain the jointly defined priority reforms and measures.

2.1.2. A new development policy framework

While these agreements have created a long-term framework for dialogue, trade and cooperation on the one hand, the EU must be able to adapt its policies to the ever-changing political and economic realities on the other. The greater consensus on the Millennium Development Goals, the new security situation following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and subsequent attacks, and the tangible effects of globalization are just a few of the factors that force us to rethink EU policy towards developing countries .

In April 2005 the Commission adopted the “Millennium Development Goals package”, which served as the basis for the ambitious commitments of the European Council in June 2005 [ix]. As a continuation of this package of measures, the Commission submitted to the Council and Parliament in July 2005 a proposal for a joint declaration on the European Union's new development policy, entitled “The European Consensus” [x]. If this document were to be adopted, there would be, for the first time in the history of Europe, a common set of goals, values ​​and principles that the European Union, i. H. would pursue and represent all 25 member states, the European Community and the European Parliament, as global players and global partners.

With its Africa strategy, the EU wants to launch a joint, coordinated and coherent initiative that specifically addresses the challenges facing Africa. It would therefore be the first practical implementation of the aforementioned “European consensus” strategy.

2.2. A quantum leap in relations between the EU and Africa

2.2.1. A changing Africa as a partner: equality, partnership and personal responsibility

A new era begins for relations between the European Union and Africa. It is all the more important to consolidate the principles that determine these relationships - equality, partnership and personal responsibility (“ownership”) - and to give them new weight. While these principles are not new, their meaning, relevance and impact have changed with external political and economic change. With the establishment of the African Union and NEPAD, the increasing importance of the regional economic communities in Africa and the growth of a new political elite in the African states, not only Africa has changed, but also its relationship to Europe. Rethinking these basic principles could go a long way towards improving EU-Africa relations, both in terms of nature and scope.

Equality: Since the establishment of the African Union and the regional economic communities on the one hand and the consolidation of European integration on the other, there has been a new and more symmetrical institutional framework for relations between Europe and Africa and between the European Union and regional and continental bodies. Equality means mutual recognition, respect for one another and an understanding of common interests.

Partnership: This more balanced relationship between the partners also has an impact on the interpretation of the concept of partnership between the EU and Africa: The EU not only provides funds in the context of development cooperation, but is also a partner in politics and trade. The EU's relations with Africa are therefore not only of a purely developmental nature, but also include a comprehensive, concrete and constructive political dialogue. The EU has a wealth of experience that it can make available to Africa in questions of continental integration, regional and social cohesion, institution building and policy development. In addition, this partnership must be based on shared responsibility and accountability, including respect for human and other fundamental rights. But the partnership with other countries around the world has also changed: since the EU and Africa share the same fundamental values ​​and goals (e.g. a more multilateral world order, fairer global development and the promotion of diversity), they come in as partners the international community has a strategically important role to play.

Ownership: Development policies and strategies cannot be imposed from outside. The African Union and NEPAD are committed to good governance, respect for human rights and democracy and deserve the EU's full support for this. The concept of personal responsibility as a basis for dialogue and cooperation with every country has thus also acquired a new dimension. The aforementioned principles also form the core of the Cotonou Agreement, the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation (TDCA), the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The European Union should support Africa and the individual African states in their efforts to develop their own strategies and political concepts with all its might. In the practical implementation of the principle of personal responsibility, budget support (aid that flows directly into the partner country's budget for a specific policy area) should increasingly be used as a support mechanism. This approach not only improves the ownership, efficiency and predictability of aid, but also promotes a political dialogue in which partner countries are encouraged to assume their share of responsibility for goals, means and governance mechanisms.

2.2.2. Consideration of the different levels of action: subsidiarity and solidarity

In view of the many different cooperation agreements and the growing importance of the regional economic communities and the African Union as well as the increasing complexity of EU-Africa relations, subsidiarity and solidarity should form two important pillars of the European Africa strategy.

Subsidiarity: Within the framework of these agreements, the European Union should work together with Africa at national, regional and continental level, acting in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity: only matters that would be less efficiently regulated at a lower administrative level should be transferred to the next higher administrative level. While issues such as peace and security, migration, interconnected networks or disaster management essentially need to be dealt with at regional or continental level, other issues such as basic social services (e.g. health care and primary education) can usually be addressed much better at national or sub-national level .

The European Union's strategies and actions should therefore really be tailored to the potential at each level. At the country level, European Union support to North Africa should continue to focus on national reform strategies and the implementation of the ENP action plans, while in sub-Saharan Africa the focus should be on the implementation of national development policies and poverty reduction strategies. At the regional level, the European Union should first support the strategies for (sub) regional integration and development as well as the programs of the various regional economic communities. For sub-Saharan Africa, this would mean a subsequent integration of regional markets after the conclusion of the negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA). This objective also includes concrete support for coordinated “supply side” reforms and other reforms at national level in order to ensure a seamless connection between national development policies and the goals of regional integration. The European Union should support African efforts to streamline current regional integration programs and institutions in coordination with the regional groupings responsible for the EPAs.Finally, at the continental level, the European Union should support the pan-African institutions and strategies of the African Union and NEPAD, which endeavor to find answers to current issues affecting all of Africa. Here it will be necessary to strengthen the capacities of these supranational bodies so that they gain strength and effectiveness as well as credibility in the countries and citizens of Africa. Therefore, the European Union should increase its support for the AU Commission, the Pan-African Parliament and other Pan-African bodies. At the same time, the European Union should ensure synergies and complementarity between the various agreements in order to be able to support these strategies more effectively for the whole of Africa.

Solidarity: The European Union should support African efforts to achieve greater intra-African solidarity between these three different institutional levels. Such solidarity is expressed, among other things, in the recognition that the responsibility for peace, security and good governance lies in the hands of all of Africa. The heart of this new doctrine is the AU concept of “non-indifference”. The rapid action of the African Union in the event of government overthrow, constitutional breach or human rights violations shows that this is not just an empty phrase. The establishment of the Peace Facility, to which all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa contribute through their EDF funding, is a good example of how Europe supports Africa's engagement [xi]. Another way of providing support would be to create an aid mechanism for particularly disadvantaged and disaster-hit countries.

2.2.3. Cooperation and continuity through political dialogue

Relations between the European Union and Africa must increasingly be determined by a culture of dialogue. The importance of sustained, open and constructive political dialogue cannot be underlined enough. However, such a dialogue also requires a common and consistent approach by the European Union if it wants to exercise its leading role together with other international partners and the United Nations.

Experience so far has prompted some of the most recent changes to the Cotonou Agreement, which provides for regular and comprehensive political dialogue with countries and regions in sub-Saharan Africa. The amendment of Articles 8 and 96 of the Cotonou Agreement has given political dialogue more structure, durability and potentially more effectiveness. The amended Article 8 enables the EC and its African partners to act quickly and effectively in the context of political dialogue in almost all circumstances. Article 96 has grown in importance and will be used as the next higher instrument in more difficult cases that cannot be resolved in a previous political dialogue. Sanctions should only be resorted to when no other solution appears to be possible and after it has been carefully checked whether they would actually take effect. Political dialogue is thus a means of preventing the "essential elements" of the Cotonou Agreement [xii] from being violated and not - as has been all too often the case in the past - only reacting when the problem arises already exists. The Barcelona Process and the ENP created a solid framework for political dialogue with the North African countries. The Barcelona Process gained new momentum after the ministerial meeting in Naples in December 2003, and the Barcelona Summit in November 2005 will mark a new milestone in relations between Europe and the Mediterranean countries. In addition, the European Union must add a new dimension to its dialogue with the African continent as a whole, by going beyond the regular ministerial meetings and seeking dialogue at the highest political level. Five years after the Cairo summit, the time is ripe for the EU-Africa summit in Lisbon.

Impressive examples of the quantum leap in relations between the European Union and Africa described in this section are recent developments in relations between the European Union and South Africa. Even if democracy in South Africa is only ten years old, the country has meanwhile become an important strategic partner of the EU on the African continent. South Africa is a so-called anchor state in southern Africa and a key partner for the regional integration process, regional stability and the future Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with southern Africa. At the continental level, South Africa is one of the driving forces behind the African Union and NEPAD, a pillar of democracy and good governance in Africa and an important peacemaker. Internationally, South Africa is playing an increasingly important role as a representative of Africa, but also of all of the developing countries. For this reason, South Africa and the EU have agreed to deepen and expand their current relationship beyond 2006 on the basis of a holistic and innovative approach with a view to a strategic partnership. In this regard, the Joint Cooperation Council conclusions underlined the importance of taking an integrated approach to political dialogue, development cooperation, trade liberalization and wider economic cooperation. This would be the basis of a new form of cooperation based on common interests, particularly the gap between the “formal” and “informal” economies and the associated imbalances in South Africa.

3. A TRIPLE EU STRATEGY

3.1. Increase EU support in priority areas

The explanations in Section 1 should make it clear that the path to sustainable political, economic, social and environmentally compatible development will be different in every African state or region. At the same time, the overview shows that many countries and regions face similar problems, all of which require targeted and committed action and ultimately determine whether Africa will be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Therefore the European Union, i. H. The European Community and the Member States, in their new Africa Strategy, are expanding their support in the following fields of action: creating the basic conditions for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (peace and security and good governance), creating an economic environment conducive to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (Economic growth, trade and networks) and measures directly related to the Millennium Development Goals (social cohesion and environmental issues). Together, these measures form a common, comprehensive and coherent response to the development challenges in Africa.

3.1.1. Conditions for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and good governance

3.1.1.1. Promoting peace and security

There can be no sustainable development without peace and security. Over the past few decades, millions of people and decades of economic development efforts in Africa have fallen victim to bloody wars and armed conflicts. Furthermore, the Copenhagen Consensus Project has shown that in conflict countries the annual GDP growth rate falls by an average of 2% [xiii]. In addition, wars and armed conflicts lead to uncontrolled migratory movements, they cause even greater environmental pollution, lead to a destabilization of societies and government structures in neighboring countries and regions and are often breeding grounds for terrorism and organized crime. Wars and conflicts affect all phases of the development cycle, so there is a need for a comprehensive EU approach to conflict prevention, management and resolution, as well as post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building measures.

The EU will therefore step up its efforts to promote peace and security at all stages of the conflict. Specifically, the following measures, among others, should be taken:

- Develop a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention that takes into account security, development and democratic governance policies and measures. The EU should increasingly use regional and national development strategies and instruments to address the structural causes of conflict. The EU will maintain its support to address the real causes of armed conflict. These include poverty, land degradation, use and unequal distribution of and access to land and natural resources, weak governance, human rights violations and gender inequalities. It will also work for dialogue, participation and reconciliation in order to prevent possible conflicts from breaking out. In fragile states in particular, a culture of conflict prevention must be developed and promoted. National and regional early warning systems could play a decisive role in this. Therefore, the EU should increase its assistance to the efforts of partner countries and regional organizations to strengthen governance and capacity building so that they can carry out effective conflict prevention. Monitoring the scarce natural resources (water and fertile land) and promoting environmentally compatible management of valuable resources that are intended for everyone would also make a sensible contribution to conflict prevention and sustainable peace.

- Security cooperation (including non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and counter-terrorism): on terrorism issues, the EU should help to strengthen the role of the UN in the multilateral fight against terrorism, including through the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the UN International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, while ensuring the protection of human rights. Weapons of mass destruction and illegal arms exports should address issues including regional security and encourage general coordination and cooperation to ensure compliance with international obligations and export control systems.

- Support for the peace-making activities launched, developed and implemented under the aegis of Africa (in particular by strengthening and replenishing the Peace Facility for Africa). Important lessons can be drawn from the practical implementation of the Peace Facility to date. The development-specific objectives of the Facility have been successfully translated into practical action insofar as the Facility now forms the financial foundation of the peace and security structure in Africa and underpins the leadership role of the African Union and the subregional organizations. Now is the time to develop a wider EU approach on the basis of this experience and to complement these Community instruments with CFSP / ESDP concepts. What is needed now is a common EU concept for the various conflicts in Africa. In addition, the EU should pursue a common policy that takes into account the call by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to create a network of peacekeeping capacities, in which the synergies between the various parties, in particular through the proposed ten-year plan for capacity building in the AU, should be exploited participating organizations are used and the institutional capacities of the African institutions are expanded.

- Disarmament to break the conflict cycle: First of all, support should be given to measures to develop coherent regional and national strategies for the demobilization, disarmament, reintegration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants (including child soldiers) and the stabilization of the post-conflict situation [xiv] . This can be done on the basis of the experience in Central Africa and in particular in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a wide range of measures are carried out (including via centers de brassage), ranging from the collection and destruction of weapons to the establishment of a national army pass. In addition, the EU should promote an integrated approach to tackling the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and landmines (see Box 1). In this context, the Commission recently launched two far-reaching pilot projects supported by the European Parliament. On the basis of this and other experiences, the EU should develop a collective, comprehensive and cross-cutting approach to address the complex issues of this problem area, using both first pillar and CFSP / ESDP instruments.

- Maintaining peace in post-conflict situations by ensuring a more coherent and faster transition from short-term humanitarian aid to long-term development strategies in post-conflict societies. With the help of the proposed stability instrument, the EU will be able to react much better to crises and contribute to post-conflict reconstruction measures, as only a single legal instrument needs to be used and the fact that post-conflict stabilization is a sustainable and flexible commitment and can be taken into account requires a high degree of flexibility in decision-making and resource allocation. The EU should promote an integrated and comprehensive policy dialogue and mix and instruments, while strengthening the implementation of Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) efforts. Such transition strategies must also provide socially and ecologically sustainable solutions for refugees and other particularly affected and weak population groups. Furthermore, the EU should develop a strategy and create capacities to advance the reform of the security sector in Africa, which takes into account the relevant programs of the EC and the Member States for institution and capacity building and at the same time the capacity to act within the European security and defense policy ( ESDP). The EU also welcomes the establishment of a Peace Building Commission.

- “Conflict resources”: Access to and use of valuable or scarce natural resources can be decisive factors in the outbreak or continuation of conflicts. The European Union should continue to work towards an efficient application of the “Kimberley Process Certification System for International Trade in Rough Diamonds” [xv] and work together with its African partners towards better control and traceability of other potential conflict resources. They should also support the AFLEG (Africa Forest Law Enforcement and Governance) process through the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Policy Making and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT). This action plan sets out a range of measures to combat illegal logging and develop good governance in developing countries, while opening up new opportunities for the European internal market.

Box 1: Fighting landmines as a prerequisite for peace (Angola)

The civil war in Angola ended in 2002, but the plethora of landmines and duds still represent an enormous obstacle to reconstruction and the general return of the country to normal. It is estimated that four to five million landmines remain under Angolan soil. That is why the European Commission set up the “Emergency program for a mine clearance action for sustainable return and resettlement in Angola”, which is worth EUR 26 million. Through mine clearance and institutional capacity building, this program has helped the country cope with the heavy burden of nearly thirty years of civil war and paved the way for Angola's sustainable development. Angola can therefore serve as a model for all other post-conflict countries.

3.1.1.2. Support lawful and effective governance

The African countries have jointly committed themselves to a catalog of progressive values ​​and principles of good governance.These are also an important component of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy. The North African countries that have agreed to an ENP Action Plan have made specific commitments in this regard. These principles are also central to the Cotonou Agreement and the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). Some African countries have even agreed to regular monitoring within the framework of the “African Peer Review Mechanism” (APRM), which is a unique instrument for peer reviews and peer learning. It is important to consider the historical, human and cultural heritage of each country in supporting and monitoring these processes. Even if clear improvements can already be seen, the road to sustainable democracy in Africa is still difficult, long and often not straightforward. The protection of all human rights and the guarantee of the rule of law continue to be a major challenge. In many countries, freedom of assembly, association and expression are still severely restricted. Reliable information is limited, corruption is often endemic and the use of force against political opponents is common. Many African countries are in a double legitimation crisis because, on the one hand, there is a lack of a real social contract between the state and citizens or this only exists in a very weakened form and, on the other hand, there is a lack of the necessary capacities to at least guarantee the provision of basic social services. The result is a growing gap between the “legality” of the state apparatus and its “legitimacy” in the eyes of the citizens. While genuinely democratic elections bring legitimacy and stability, all too often the elections in Africa are still a source of conflict because they were not conducted properly or because the losers refuse to accept the electoral defeat. The organization and role of the state, which often still reflects traces of the past, are therefore of crucial importance. The peoples of Africa and their ruling elites are primarily responsible for building democratic structures. Governments and other public institutions must increasingly seek dialogue with civil society on political issues in order to achieve greater transparency and participation in difficult development issues. You have to keep their promises.

Promotion of development and promotion of democracy are closely linked. Even if democracy cannot be created or imposed by domestic leadership elites or even external actors, it is still possible to contribute to strengthening the need for democracy in a country by promoting sustainable socio-economic development. The task of external actors is therefore to support and promote national efforts in connection with the establishment, strengthening and preservation of democratic norms, procedures and organs. In order to tackle the double problem of weak and ineffective governance outlined above, the EU will support efforts to ensure lawful and effective governance as the second fundamental prerequisite for Africa's development and, consequently, for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Specifically, the following measures, among others, should be taken:

- State reform (1) - Establishment of effective and credible central government bodies: The creation of stronger central bodies is an important goal for all levels of government, including the regional and pan-African levels (see section “Subsidiarity”). Capacity building in African countries will help to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens are better respected and that governance and the effectiveness of the state are improved, and therefore deserves the full support of the European Union. This should include support for the police, judiciary and other institutions in emerging democracies (including the national ombudsman, the Court of Auditors and the necessary electoral commissions) and measures to strengthen public finance management systems, in particular mainstreaming the framework for measuring public finance management performance , as well as the application of a more sophisticated approach in support of public finance management reforms [xvi]. Finally, support should also be given to strengthening the capacities of the national parliaments in Africa so that they can better perform their legislative and supervisory tasks (including the fight against corruption) and their representative functions. Parliaments are the legally competent bodies for security sector reform, conflict resolution, national integration and reconciliation, and they contribute to shaping development strategies for their country.

- State reform (2) - Developing local capacities: a regular dialogue with national governments and local authorities should discuss how best to carry out the decentralization process. Decentralization transfers responsibility to the citizens, strengthens democracy and gives more momentum to the development strategy and related actions. It ensures that a good part of the income stays in the regions and is not absorbed by the central administration. In the context of decentralization, cities and rural communities can also participate in conflict prevention measures so that military demands can be converted into political demands. The Commission has already supported the successful decentralization in Mali, which, among other things, helped to steer the Tuareg uprising on a peaceful path. Another positive example is Rwanda, which, following the genocide in 1994, launched an ambitious program of decentralization of administrative powers as part of the reconstruction of the state.

- Launch of an initiative to promote good governance: the European Union should give active support to Africa's measures to improve governance. The EU must encourage African countries to systematically incorporate good governance into their national poverty reduction strategies and support them accordingly. With the voluntary African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the resulting reforms, African countries have a powerful instrument at their disposal to further strengthen their efforts to date. The Commission should launch a good governance initiative to encourage African countries to participate in the APRM process and support the reforms emerging from the APRM system. This aid should be complementary to and in full compliance with the poverty reduction strategy papers and should not change the responsibility of African countries for the process or subsequent reforms.

- Respect for human rights and strengthen democracy: an EU-Africa human rights forum should be set up to promote the exchange of relevant expertise and resources. Such a forum should be underpinned by a network of human rights experts in Africa and Europe, who discuss substantive and institutional questions of human rights in an ongoing dialogue. This forum could meet several times a year and should be instrumental in promoting political dialogue and promoting the effective implementation of human rights commitments. In addition, the EU will make every effort to address human rights issues whenever possible in the framework of the various forms of international dialogue and international cooperation (e.g. United Nations) and to integrate them firmly into development cooperation. The EU should give particular importance to safeguarding and protecting the rights and basic needs of children, but also to promoting, safeguarding and protecting women's rights and gender equality. In its communication on the tenth anniversary of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the Commission proposed the establishment of a governance facility for North Africa, which would help advance the reform processes there and all those partners who are clearly committed to shared democratic values ​​and the agreed political reforms and stand up for it, be supported and rewarded accordingly.

- Promoting gender equality: The EU should ensure that gender equality is firmly anchored in all partnerships and national development strategies, including strategies for combating poverty. In Africa, women are the most affected by poverty, both in cities and in rural areas. The EU should therefore campaign specifically for literacy (especially among girls) and for equal access for women to education and, in addition, promote measures that improve sexual and reproductive health in the course of fighting AIDS, reduce maternal and child mortality and the increased participation of women in conflict prevention, peace-building and reconstruction efforts.