ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Weekly Newsletter
30 JANUARY 2017

Geert Laporte

Dep. Director

Dear <<First name>>,

Last week the 28th African Union Summit of Heads of State took place in Addis Ababa.

This week’s editor’s pick features a topic that has been widely discussed in the margins of the Summit. The discussion paper by our ECDPM colleagues Faten Aggad and Sophie Desmidt highlights some interesting approaches towards conflict responses and conflict management in Africa. As the recent events in The Gambia have shown, coordination of diplomatic and mediation efforts between the AU and ECOWAS regional actors can have effective results. But more efforts are needed towards strengthening the role of the regional economic communities (RECs) in other parts of Africa and in building a stronger preventive capacity of the African Peace and Security Architecture.

In our Policy News items we are pleased to announce two upcoming events for the launch of two publications: ECDPM’s annual Challenges Paper and a report carried out by ECDPM experts Anna Knoll and Andrew Sherriff for the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA), highlighting how irregular migration and refugee flows have impacted on the volumes and orientation of ODA.

Read further for details and other recent news and events. For daily news updates, follow us on Twitter @ECDPM.

All the best,


Editor's Pick 


Photo courtesy of United Nations Photo via Flickr.

De-securitising conflict responses in Africa: What prospects for a structural conflict prevention approach?

This discussion paper by ECDPM’s Faten Aggad and Sophie Desmidt builds on the increasing importance of regional approaches to conflict, which have been gaining traction, reflected in the role of the African Union and of its African Peace and Security Architecture. The authors explore current approaches towards conflict resolution in Africa. Taking into account the issues of authority as well institutional and financial capacity, they assess the feasibility of a more de-militarised approach of the African Union and the various African regional economic communities and mechanisms to promote peace and security on the continent.

To complement this discussion paper, we have created an interactive map that visualises the estimated assessed contribution of each Member State of the African Union which you can find in ECDPM’s multimedia section as well as on the publication page.


Policy News 

ECDPM launches two publications this week

We are pleased to announce the launch of two ECDPM publications this week. As announced in last week’s Weekly Compass, on 1 February ECDPM and the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU will hold the co-organised seminar Doing more with less. How to adapt EU development and external action to new challenges in the Africa-Europe Partnership?. During the seminar, ECDPM’s Annual Challenges Paper will be launched.

On 2 February, ECDPM’s Anna Knoll and Andrew Sherriff will attend the seminar Migration and foreign aid by the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA) in Sweden and launch a new report, written for EBA by the two aforementioned experts. The report highlights how irregular migration and refugee flows have impacted the volumes and orientation of ODA. It is based on five case studies: the European Commission, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. The report will be available on ECDPM’s website as of the day of the launch.

ECDPM is hiring a Junior Policy Officer (JPO) in the Migration Programme

ECDPM is looking for an entrepreneurial professional with a policy and research background on migration and development-related issues to join its new Migration Programme for a full-time position as Junior Policy Officer. Applications are accepted until 6 February.

Other News

- Study commissioned by the European Parliament assesses major changes in European public opinion regarding the European Union, focusing on aspects such as economy, lives of European and immigration. On the latter point, Europeans’ opinions are divided. Also, the economic crisis contributed to deteriorating trust towards EU institutions.

- Article by The Guardian "It's not aid in reverse, illicit financial flows are more complicated than that" argues that the private sector and real investment can be critical for development, provided rich countries make a greater effort to enforce anti-bribery laws and aid is transparent.

- OECD published new study "Cross-Border Cooperation and Policy Networks in West-Africa", including analysis by the Sahel and West-Africa Club.

- A new IRIN article discusses the importance of extension workers in linking African small-scale farmers to new research and innovation.

- The IRIN article "Promoting peace by waging war" analyses examples of African interventionism, including the recent case of the Gambian elections.

- DIE publishes new paper "Rising powers and the provision of transnational public goods: conceptual considerations and features of South Africa as a case study", assessing the evolving role of rising powers in a changing global context.

- According to a new Brookings article, outlining seven Trump foreign policy assumptions, some initiatives might be hampered by international realities and bureaucratic obstacles.

- US Senator Rand Paul’s claim that 70% of aid to Africa is lost to corruption is nowhere near correct, according to CGD research.

- New ODI report on Africa’s new climate economy assesses the economic transformation and social and environmental change for decision-makers to draw lessons for the future.

- The Joint Research Centre (JRC) publishes two new MARS (Monitoring Agricultural Resources) bulletins on crop monitoring and forecasts for Europe and northern Africa.

- ISS’s article  "28th AU Summit: Promoting women's rights the highlight of Dlamini Zuma's legacy" reflects upon Zuma’s achievements during her mandate as AU Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

- Friends of Europe’s article looks at Trump as a gift to Europe’s lost unity, arguing that the president’s conduct is likely to remind Europeans what the EU is for.

- Euractiv reports that EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström received numerous criticisms by
Mr. Suleiman Umar, from the Nigerian Embassy to the EU, regarding the state of EPAs with the developing world.

- Huffington Post study
shows that Tunisia is in the lead of the most innovative African countries. The study takes into account indicators such as research and high-technology. [in French]

- AllAfrica article lays out the slow death of a civilian government and the rise of a military might in Ethiopia,

- ODI’s "Resilience scan: July-September 2016"  reviews writing and debates in the field of resilience during the third quarter of 2016, mainly focussing on the context of developing countries as well as gender equality and resilience.

- Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2016 reports endemic corruption in countries’ public sector. The top two on the list are Somalia and South-Sudan.

- IISD report "Promoting Gender Equality in Foreign Agricultural Investments: Lessons from voluntary sustainability standards" underlines among other factors the importance of land rights for women to access productive resources.

- Bruegel published the policy contribution "Why is it so hard to reach the EU’s ‘poverty’ target". The latter aims to lift over 20 million people out of poverty by 2020 in Europe, but the contribution casts light upon a number of issues behind reaching this goal.

- IFPRI article "Food for all: why better nutrition is a collective task" argues that, since “environmental threats don’t stop at political borders”,
joint effort is a must to reduce hunger worldwide.

- GGA published the Gambia’s timeline, which covers the most relevant dates and happenings ranging from the announcement of Barrow’s victory over Jammeh to Jammeh’s exile to Equatorial Guinea.

- Recent article by ISS "28th AU Summit: Alarm bells beyond the Gambia" states that African Union leaders attending the meeting should consider other pressing matters affecting the  continent, such as conflict in South Sudan, tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, instability in Mali and the Sahel, turmoil in Libya and the war on al-Shabaab in Somalia

- ISS handbook – The EU and the world: players and policies post-Lisbon lays out how the EU conducts diplomacy, defence, development and other related policies and how its role regarding foreign policy has evolved since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

- "Exit Arusha? Pathways from Power-Sharing in Burundi" is a book project launched by IOB dealing with the rise and the (attempted) fall of power-sharing in Burundi.

- Report by the European Partnership for Democracy "Who owns the EDF? Ensuring domestic accountability in ACP-EU development cooperation" examines the extent to which domestic accountability in recipient countries is currently addressed in the EDF.

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Recent Events

On 26-27 January, an informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers took place in Malta. On the agenda were immigration and security issues.

On 25 January, the EU Commission and EEAS presented a new Communication on Migration on the Central Mediterranean route in which it provided more details on its plan to approach Libya. The Commission has opposed the Maltese idea to replicate the Turkey-style deal to reduce crossings from North Africa to Europe.

On 23- 24 January, an informal Ministerial Meeting of Ministers and State Secretaries for EU Affairs took place in Malta, discussing the priorities of the Maltese Presidency.

During a press conference in Brussels last week, HR/VP Federica Mogherini underlined the constant EU engagement with African regional institutions such as ECOWAS and the AU, wishing a good outcome for the 28th AU Summit and mentioning the upcoming EU-Africa Summit.

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos ended on 20 January, underlining concerns against protectionism.

In the meeting which took place on 22 January in Berlin, agriculture ministers from the G-20 coalition agreed to improve the sustainability of water use in farming.

Last week, the new Gambian president Adama Barrow returned home after Yahya Jammeh left for exile. ECOWAS coalition forces will stay in the country for the next 6 months as requested by the new president.

The Military Operations Coordination Committee (MOCC) for the African Union Mission in Somalia convened its 22nd meeting in Addis Ababa on 24 January. It agreed on calling on the AU Commission to elevate the issue of AMISOM funding gap to the upcoming AU Summit.

Upcoming Events

Taking stock of Valletta is the title of the meeting that the MADE Network organises on 30 January. Representatives of European and African civil society organisations will discuss recent developments in the area of migration.

On 30-31 January, the 28th ordinary session of the assembly of the African Union will take place in Addis Ababa. Major agenda point is the election of the new chairperson and deputy chairperson of the AU Commission.

On 31 January, the Martens Centre launches the paper Good or Bad Neighbours: Europe’s Main Security Challenge. Discussions will focus on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy.

On 1-2 February, the Global Forum on Migration & Development will hold a series of preparatory meetings for its 2017-2018 co-chairmanship and roundtables.

During an informal  EU Council meeting on 3 February, the European heads of state or government will address the external dimension of migration, with a focus on the Central Mediterranean route and Libya.

ICTSD, GDI and the T20 Task Force hold a seminar on 5 February on key policy options for the G20 to support inclusive international trade and investment. On the agenda are: supporting the multilateral trade system, facilitating investment, boosting digital economy, and other crosscutting issues for sustainable development.

Events organised or attended by ECDPM

On 30 January, ECDPM’s San Bilal and Sebastian Grosse-Puppendahl will attend the EIB Board of Directors seminar with civil society 2017. Main discussion topics will be environment and climate, and accountability in investments.

Francesco Rampa and several other ECDPM staff members will attend the 2017 Annual General Assembly of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development on 1-2 February. The focus will be on Agenda 2030 and rural development.

ECDPM’s Challenges Paper 2017 will be launched at a seminar on 1 February, organised in cooperation with the Maltese EU Presidency. Doing more with less. How to adapt EU development and external action to new challenges in the Africa-Europe Partnership? seeks to identify important debates that can be expected in the coming year and beyond and to sketch the backdrop against which these will unfold.

ECDPM’s Anna Knoll and Andrew Sherriff will speak at a seminar organised by EBA, the Swedish Expert Group for Aid Studies and launch the report they wrote for EBA. It highlights a number of key issues concerning the development and migration nexus.

On 3 February, ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers and Sean Woolfrey will attend a Brussels Development Briefing on regional trade in Africa. The relation between trade, regional integration and development is recognised as essential for sustainable growth and poverty reduction.


Publisher: The Weekly Compass is produced by ECDPM with financial resources provided by our core and institutional funders: The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Editor-in-Chief: Geert Laporte
Deputy Director,

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Designer: Yaseena van 't Hoff
Information Officer Publications – Art Direction and Design,

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Editor: Franz Ferdinand Rothe
Communications Officer

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Editor: Valeria Pintus
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