The ECDPM Weekly Compass is your reliable source on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific - in your mailbox Friday afternoons.

Editor's Pick

Regional Food Security and Water in SADC

Ahead of tomorrow’s World Water Day 2014, Francesco Rampa and Lesley-Anne van Wyk from ECDPM’s Food Security Programme publish a Discussion Paper on improving Agricultural Water Management (AWM) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The paper looks at the big picture of water resources management for regional food security as well as the importance of bridging different sectors and geographical levels to connect regional agricultural frameworks, such as the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy (RAP), with national and local AWM actors and initiatives. The potential for synergies across the water, agriculture and trade sectors for improved Transboundary Water Resources Management in SADC, is especially timely in the context of developing the Regional Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Investment Plan derived from the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy. Also, read the short blog by one of the report’s authors, Lesley-Anne van Wyk, which outlines issues of water for agriculture in the region.

Policy News

VIDEO: Gary Quince on Challenges for Africa-EU Relations
Gary Quince, Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union, outlines for ECDPM what he thinks are the challenges for Africa-EU relations ahead of the upcoming summit and beyond. Filmed at the fringe of the African Union Commission’s 'Fridays of the Commission' meeting in Addis Ababa. He says the summit is an opportunity to reset the partnership and put it on a more dynamic path to face future challenges, such as getting the most out of the growing African population. More dialogue is needed and to speed up delivery to make the partnership relevant to people, he says.

VIDEO:  René N'Guetta Kouassi on the Challenges for Africa-EU Relations
Dr. Rene N'Guetta Kouassi, Director of Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission, outlines his thoughts on the challenges for Africa-EU relations in 2014. Filmed in the margins at the African Union Commission’s 'Friday of the Commission' meeting (Subtitles in English). He says cooperation between Europe and Africa needs to be more visible and there is a need to move from rhetoric to action. Dialogue and political will are necessary, he says.

VIDEO: Challenges for Africa-EU Relations Ahead of the Summit
Filmed at the fringe of the 'Fridays of the Commission' meeting, Professor Jack Mangala, outlines what he thinks are the challenges for Africa-EU relations ahead of the upcoming summit and for the rest of the year. He says that one challenge is to recover the added-value of the relationship and to rebuild confidence in the partnership.

What Key Priorities for the Africa-Europe Summit
The Africa Governance Institute has produced a short three-pager on the upcoming Africa-EU summit. It says that it must break radically with previous summits and have three key priorities: a) the rebuilding of trust and commitments between Africa and Europe, in order to establish a common vision between the two continents; b) address the key issues, including the contentious ones, for a renewed partnership at a political level and in a constructive mind-set; and c) reflect on a new partnership based on the socio-economic transformation and sustainable development of the two continents.

Shifting EU Institutional Reform into High Gear: Report of the CEPS High-Level Group
The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) has published a report focussing on reforms that could be taken within the framework of the current treaties to build a more responsive and accountable Union. The report analyses the main inter- and intra-institutional weaknesses in terms of efficiency, democracy and differentiation. It puts forward a number of recommendations addressing issues such as the reorganisation of the College of Commissioners, the promotion of strategic legislative planning, the enhancement of the role of the European Parliament and the rotating Presidency of the Council, the improvement of the democratic accountability of the European Council and the adequate engagement of the national parliaments.

PODCAST: Creating More and Better Jobs
Hundreds of millions of people do not have jobs today and several hundred millions more will seek jobs by 2020. Most of these unemployed are under the age of 25 and live in developing countries. Whether these young people find jobs affects global security and well-being. The February issue of GREAT Insights focussed on Fostering More and Better Jobs. In this clip we are joined by Roland Michelitsch, Global Head of the Let’s Work Partnership at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and author of the article describing jobs as the ‘defining issue of our time’, to discuss what that means for development cooperation.

Let’s Get Comprehensive European Union Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-affected Countries
The European Union is one of the world’s most important actors in assisting fragile and conflict-affected countries, and has made engagement with ‘fragile states’ a top priority for its development policy. At the policy level, the EU’s approach is in line with international best practices defined by the OECD’s 2007 Principles and the 2011 Busan ‘New Deal’ for fragile states. At the operational level, the EU is developing a ‘comprehensive approach’ to the implementation of its policies. This paper from the German Development Institute  discusses how these factors affect the implementation of the EU’s policy frameworks with reference to three fragile and conflict-affected countries: South Sudan, Nepal and Liberia.

VIDEO: Small Farmers, Big Business. ECDPM Interviews Senior Economic Development Advisor for the Netherlands Development Organisation
Following the European Development Days 2013 session on Small Farmers, Big Business, ECDPM's Brecht Lein and Thembi Maunze, Senior Economic Development Advisor for the Netherlands Development Organisation, spoke to about a smallholder farmers project in Zimbabwe, which aims to make seed available to smallholder famers and to improve food security in Zimbabwe. In this video Ms. Maunze explains some of the lessons learned and key successes of this project. It assisted 2,200 farmers across 5 districts, with the farmers were able to produce more than double the amount of seed expected.

Extractive Industries, Revenue Allocation and Local Politics
This paper from the Institute of Development Studies looks at the existing criteria and reform modalities adopted to allocate and use Extractive Industries (EI) revenues, and examines the political bargains that enabled such distribution. It focuses on four specific questions: a) How do central governments share (or distribute) the revenues from extractive industries with different levels of subnational government (vertical distribution)?; b) How do governments distribute EI revenues across extractive and non-extractive jurisdictions at subnational level (horizontal distribution)?; c) Which are the mechanisms and rules adopted by governments to allocate these resources?; and d) What is the bargaining potential of sub-national territories to demand a more proportionate share of revenues?

The Challenge of Rejuvenating an Old-school Principle Ahead of the 2015 Climate Negotiations
The principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) has been the key principle of global climate policy since the 1990s. It means that it is the responsibility of the ‘Global South’ to develop in a sustainable manner and adapt to climate change, whereas the North must mitigate its emissions in accordance with strict targets and timelines. However, CBDR does not reflects the world's socio-economic realities anymore. Developing countries’ emissions are dangerously increasing. It is high time for CBDR to be revised and to become a more flexible mechanism. Dr Hanne Knaepen attended an event on CBDR hosted by DIE and she writes this blog. She says all parties, developed as well developing, should make strong compromises, or there will be no agreement in 2015.

Economic Partnership Agreement Update
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of States are to convene to approve an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deal with the European Union, but civil society expresses concern, writes Quentin de Roquefeuil in the latest EPA update published in GREAT Insights magazine this month. He also reports that the last final hurdles to come to an East African Community (EAC)-EU EPA appear to be harder to overcome than originally foreseen, but the EU and the EAC seem confident that the next ministerial negotiating round will be the last.

The Power of Social Media
With great power comes great shareability. The OECD hosted an event looking into the huge opportunities afforded by social media, lending some interesting insights into harnessing its potential for visibility and engagement for the public and NGO sectors. This blog post, by ECDPM’s Communications Officer Clem Silverman, discusses why it is just as important to meet people face-to-face to talk about online social interaction, as it is to ‘be there’ on the web. For another point of view, read this blog by vice-president of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in France.

Faten Aggad did not present the ECDPM Joint Africa Europe Strategy (JAES) study at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) as stated last week. She was speaking on the challenges ahead of the Summit and the role of the PAP. Damien Helly will present the ECDPM study for the European Parliament to the Pan-African-EU Summit on 31 March.  Our apologies for this mistake. 

More news from The Filter

A guest post on the Africa-EU summit by Marta Martinelli, from the Open Society European Policy Institute says “the European Union is suffering for a massive loss in credibility into the African continent, yet it refuses to face the consequences.

The EU External Action Service’s Director for Africa, Nick Westcott, answered questions live on Twitter around EU-Africa relations ahead of the Summit on 2-3 April in Brussels. In the Q&A, he answered questions on conflict, South Sudan, youth employment and more. He explained that the EU has committed €20 billion for Africa over the next seven years, and that the EU and Africa will be building a common position on climate change.

The launch of the Institute for Development Studies Centre for Business and Development was held in London last week. The centre ‘aims to become a global research and policy engagement centre that will tackle critical questions’. ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers writes that at the event there was a danger of the conversation succumbing to clichéd interventions and full agreement. But thankfully, he says, DfID turned up and injected some energy, frankness, slight provocation and a call for realism.  And that isn't something you can often say…, Byiers adds in this blog post

Noting that Africa’s resource-rich countries have not translated their wealth into sustained economic growth and poverty reduction, this paper from the Centre for Global Development shows that by transferring a portion of resource-related government revenues uniformly and universally as direct payments to the population, some countries could increase both private consumption and the provision of public goods, and thereby reduce poverty and enhance social welfare.

Previous literature has demonstrated that public policies aimed at improving access to advanced information and telecommunications (ITC) infrastructure, protecting intellectual property rights, and reforming labor markets to reduce rigidities can help developing countries avoid such low-growth equilibria. As a complement to these policies, this note from the World Bank emphasizes the role of access to finance in supporting the innovative activities that in turn can help countries climb the ladder to high-income status.

A new road to regional integration? South Africa has announced that it wants to change the Southern African Customs Union revenue sharing formula.

Recovery is under way in the world’s advanced economies, underpinned by supportive financial conditions and reduced drag from budgetary tightening, but activity in the major emerging markets is mixed, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment.

Chatham House asks: what will be the direction of EU foreign policy as the bloc emerges from economic crisis? In this report of an event on ‘Foreign Policy After Economic Crisis’ the speakers considered the long-term effects of Europe’s economic downturn on the perceptions and influence of the EU, and considered how changes brought about by internal political reform might affect the EU’s role internationally.

South of the Sahara, economies have flourished over the past decade, earning the continent the moniker ‘Africa Rising’. But growing pains are emerging, clouding the short-term outlook for a region that has become a magnet for foreign investors, says this article in the Financial Times.

In this new book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. The main driver of inequality--the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth-- today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic value.

The Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, best known for his celebrated Granta essay “How to write about Africa”, talks to Eliza Anyangwe, from the Guardian Development Pros Network about how the notion of 'development', aid, and other words incubated in the west fail to capture the reality of Africa.

For more articles, see The Filter

Photo credit: Kasane – Zambezi River, Diogo Rodrigues Lopes FerreiraUmdiogolopes on Flickr

Google Plus One Button

No 182, 21 March 2014

Dear Jacques,
The EU Council adopted conclusions on the implementation of the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel inviting the European External Action Service, the EU Special Representative for the Sahel and the Commission to develop a new regional action plan covering the next steps of implementation of the Sahel Strategy. The Council also adopted conclusions on the Gulf of Guinea strategy.

The EU Council adopted conclusions on the EU common position for the First High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation in Mexico City on 15-16 April 2014.

A EU Regulation was adopted on the financial framework for the period 2014-2018.

Luxembourg and Austria lifted their longstanding veto on a key European Union law that will extensively bolster national governments’ ability to crackdown on tax evaders. Oxfam welcomes the move.

The EU Council adopted conclusions on West Africa's Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Development  Programme (PAPED).

ECDPM’s Isabelle Ramdoo looks at the likelihood of an EPA with West Africa in an article in La Tribune. An article on World Stage claims Nigeria has pulled out of the EPA. Though there are no other reports to confirm this. The ECOWAS summit next week is likely to discuss EPAs.

ICTSD’s latest issue of Bridges Africa focuses on EPAs. It looks at the way forward and includes interviews with Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister for Foreign trade and Development Cooperation and Xavier Carim, Deputy Director General of the International trade and Economic Development Division.

Negotiations on the South African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement are close to completion, but to finalize the deal limitations on export taxes should be abandoned says Tralac. Strategic concessions on issues like export taxes hold the key to building the necessary political will to give life to the deal, and to strengthen the vital EU-Africa partnership, according toTralac.

A EU-Africa Senior official meeting takes place on Friday to prepare for the 2-3 April joint summit.

A European Parliament Development Committee meeting will discuss a study by the Institute of Development Studies on tax revenue mobilisation in developing countries. They will also have a presentation from South Centre on its study on ACP Countries' positions on Economic Partnership Agreements and from the International Organisation for Migration on the impact of remittances on developing countries. The Committee will also have a debriefing of meetings of the EU platform on blending in external cooperation and discuss with NGOs and the private sector the EU position on the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation High-level forum on aid effectiveness in Mexico. Watch live or a recording after.

ECDPM’s Jean Bossuyt will present the ECDPM study prepared for the European Parliament on political dialogue on human rights under Article 8 of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement to the European Parliament Development Committee public hearing on Tuesday on this issue. The study calls for a more strategic and structured approach to political dialogue and to fully exploit the potential of development programmes and financial instruments to underpin and strengthen the dialogue. A panel discussion will be held including Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Development, Ms Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Aken’Ova, Nigerian LGBT activist, the ACP Secretariat and Nicholas Westcott, Managing Director for Africa, EEAS. You can watch live or a recording after.

Anna Rosengren will attend next week’s African Union-Economic Commission for Africa Joint Annual Meetings with the theme “Industrialization for inclusive and transformative development in Africa”.

San Bilal will speak at the UK Parliament event on “Economic Partnership Agreements: The Final Countdown”.

Willem Vervaeke will attend the conference on the “Right to Food and Food Sovereignty:  6 Years After the Crisis” where Professor Olivier De Schutter, UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food will speak about the work accomplished under his mandate.

For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with the Africa, see ECDPM’s The Filter.

All the best,

Melissa Julian
Communications Manager

Off The Track   
Mapping EU-ASEAN relations
This publication from FRIDE provides an in-depth review of the European Union’s (EU) relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and each of the 10 ASEAN member countries. EU-ASEAN bilateral ties have undergone much progress in recent years. This publication argues that the two parties should build on these achievements and deepen their partnership to exploit its full potential.


More From Us  

With Partners   

Copyright © 2014 ECDPM, All rights reserved.

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, Sweden and Switzerland.

If you received this e-newsletter from a colleague and would like to subscribe, you can do it on the ECDPM website. We encourage our readers to circulate this newsletter to interested colleagues.

Editor-in-Chief: Melissa Julian
Communications Manager, e-mail:
Call or SMS on mobile +32 (0)47 328 11 65
Fax +32 (0)2 237 43 19

Visit Melissa's Profile

Editor: Clément Silverman 
Communications Officer, e-mail: 
Visit Clément's Profile

Editor: Rhys Williams
Communications Assistant, e-mail: 
Visit Rhy's Profile

Editor: Emily Barker
Communications Assistant, e-mail:

Visit Emily's Profile

Disclaimer: This newsletter has been created with great care though it may contain links to websites which are created and maintained by other organisations and which have information that is not complete or accurate. The contents of this message may express personal views which are not the views of ECDPM unless specifically stated. Reproduction is authorised provided that the source is acknowledged. However, we are not liable for the subsequent use of the information. The information contained in this e-mail is intended for the person to whom it is addressed and may include confidential and/or privileged information. If you have received this e-mail in error please contact the sender immediately via