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

‘Making EU-Africa Relations Future-Proof’ – Watch the Live Stream and Post Your Questions
Next Friday, 28 February, ECDPM and the Department of Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) host a special session of the Fridays of the Commission on the theme: Making EU – Africa Relations Future – Proof’. This event comes at an important time, with the EU-Africa Summit only weeks away and will look back at the successes and failures of the attempts to launch a strategic partnership and to revisit some strategic questions on the nature of the partnership. The session will be conducted in French and English and will be facilitated by eminent speakers. It will discuss important topics such as improving political dialogue to address contentious issues (the case of the International Criminal Court). With an information fair and the outcomes published in the ‘’Bulletin of the Fridays of the Commission’’, this meeting aims to inform a wide audience on the different activities around Africa-EU relations. 
Policy News

How to make CAADP more result-oriented? ECDPM and African partners conclude Independent Assessment of the CAADP Multi-Donor Trust Fund
Making the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) more effective requires improving its governance and clarifying its role vis-à-vis the structures of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). In this AU Year of Food Security, CAADP needs to become more result-oriented, with preconditions for those MDTF improvements to work: a stronger role of national stakeholders in continental CAADP; better mainstreaming of CAADP in official AU-RECs organs; and stronger subsidiarity in CAADP implementation processes. Together with Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) and Laboratoire d’Analyse Régionale et d’Expertise Sociale (LARES), ECDPM found that the 60m EUR MDTF has played a key role in building the capacity of the CAADP lead institutions. But our report identifies important shortcomings in how this support has translated to impact at the national level. Read our accompanying Briefing Note

The G8 and the Fight for the Future of African Farming - Interactive
An Interactive Look at the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition from The Guardian. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance aims to transform the nature of agriculture and food production in Africa. Controversially, it gives agribusiness a seat at the table alongside governments and aid donors. As part of the initiative, African governments have said they will make their countries more attractive to private investors. The interactive data sets and infographic allows you to explore the promises that have been made and where. 

Guardian Development has run a number of articles this week looking at different aspects of the New Alliance. Including: New Alliance: a new wave of colonialism in Africa? | After a decade of CAADP, has Africa's focus on farming borne fruit? | Aid to Africa: private sector investment becomes new priority
Family Farms are Model Farms, says FAO Chief
Originally published as an article in ECDPM’s GREAT insights, José Graziano da Silva, director general of UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, talks about his hopes for sustainable food production in the international year of family farming.

Does RIP Spell ‘Regional Integration Promise’ or ‘Rest In Peace’?
Political issues continue to hamper the effective use of EU funds to promote regional integration. Despite the insistence that “we are the regions”, Regional Organisations (ROs) struggle to gain legitimacy and credibility from their member states, writes ECDPM’s Florian Krätke. It will be important for the ROs to navigate political factors underlying the technical issues of jointly designing and implementing cross-border programmes for regional integration. Without a clear idea of the political feasibility of projects and programmes the costly and time-consuming process of identifying regional integration projects could be for nothing. 

China’s Aid to Africa: Monster or Messiah?
Aid is an important policy instrument for China among its various engagements with Africa, and indeed Africa has been a top recipient of Chinese aid. The debate on Chinese aid policy is motivated by the rapid growth of China’s economic presence in Africa. This paper from the Brookings Institution looks at the goal and nature of Chinese aid to Africa. 
Get Ready for ECDPM’s New Website!
Out with the old, in with the new - ECDPM’s brand new website will launch in March. The site will include a responsive design, which is easily accessible from smartphones and tablets. There will be brand new exciting content such as multimedia, embedded publications, a fresh modern look and much more. The site structure also allows for better navigation and search, making it easier to find all the latest content at the touch of a button.  The Weekly Compass will also have a new look! Watch this space...

More news from The Filter

Does FDI Work for Africa? Assessing Local Spillovers in a World of Global Value Chains
The willingness and capacity of foreign investors to support spillovers vary hugely across sectors and firms, and are shaped by the dynamics of the global value chains in which they operate. The extent to which developing countries benefit from foreign direct investment depends on whether they are able to realise the productivity-enhancing benefits of knowledge and technology spillovers from foreign investors. To date, the experiences in Sub-Saharan Africa have been largely disappointing.

African Nations Form G5 to Work on Sahel Security and Development
The leaders of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso agreed on Sunday to create a regional organisation to strengthen cooperation on development and security in the Sahel region. Mauritania will host the headquarters of the new grouping, dubbed the G5 Sahel, and its President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will initially take the chair, according to a statement issued after a meeting in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

The Future of UK Development Cooperation
A UK House of Commons report outlined its vision for a future role of DFID - developing the capacity to distribute aid in the form of concessional and non-concessional loans either “in house” or by establishing a UK development bank. It envisaged establishing a financial instrument team that can prepare a development finance strategy and review how DFID should respond to the changes in the development landscape. A White Paper on Development Finance will be published in 2014.

Providing Nutrient-Rich Foods for the Poor in Tanzania - The Role of Businesses
This report examines how private companies can contribute to producing and delivering nutrient-rich foods to undernourished populations and the constraints they face in doing so. This report offers recommendations to governments, non-profit organisations and other development actors on how to collaborate with businesses in this area to catalyse their potential. 

Aid, Employment and Poverty Reduction in Africa
Growth and poverty reduction in Africa are weakly linked and structural transformation has not featured in Africa’s post-1995 growth story. The region’s fastest growing economies have the least responsiveness of employment to growth. This paper by UN-WIDER proposes a new approach that focuses aid on supporting structural change for job creation.

Models for Institutional Investment in Infrastructure
Infrastructure projects can deliver long-term returns, but investments need to be carefully structured to meet the needs of both sides. This World Bank paper considers a range of models for the involvement of institutional investors and makes proposals for how to determine which model fits best in a particular country context.

China is Africa's Biggest Trading Partner
China-Africa trade surpassed the US$ 200 billion mark for the first time in 2013, making China Africa's biggest trading partner. China's growing role has also sparked tensions because of growing concerns on human rights and resource exploitation, reports Kenya’s Daily Nation

Ambitious Structural Reforms Can Pave the Return to Strong and Sustainable Growth
Adopting ambitious and comprehensive structural reform agendas will offer governments the best chance for a return to strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth that creates jobs and reduces inequality, according to the OECD’s latest Going for Growth report. Despite the challenges posed by a subdued growth environment most governments have continued enacting reforms. 

Arms for Autocrats: It's Time for the EU to Bite the Bullet
Despite the EU's vow to support human rights and democracy in Africa, it continues to sell billions of dollars worth of arms to authoritarian regimes each year, writes Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade. The relationship between Europe and Africa is based on the principles of long-term cooperation, ownership, partnership and solidarity. But unfortunately, these ideals ideal often stand at odds with the policies actually being pursued by EU.
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No 180, 21st February 2014

Dear <<First name>>,
Oxfam International published the 2nd edition of its African Union Compendium. This compendium describes the structures of the African Union, the decision-making process and avenues of citizen participation.
The European External Action Service Africa Managing Director, Nick Westcott, discusses the 4th EU-Africa Summit.
The Joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership Facility hosts a lunchtime seminar on the future of peace and security relations next week. On 3 March they hold their final lunchtime seminar in the series on the key messages to the Africa-EU Summit.
The EU decided to suspend the remaining restrictive measures with Zimbabwe with the exception of the arms embargo and those targeting two individuals – the Head of State and his spouse and one entity – Zimbabwe Defence Industries. President Mugabe will, however, be allowed to attend the Africa-EU Summit in April.
The European Commission looks at the main developments within the EU's external migration policy in 2012 and 2013 in a report issued today. Two years after the launch of the renewed Global Approach to Migration and Mobility important achievements in strengthening dialogue and cooperation are reported, while recognising that more should be done to make further progress.
The European Parliament published its report on promoting development through responsible business practices, including the role of extractive industries in developing countries. The resolution will be adopted next week.
Valdis Dombrovskis, an ex-prime minister of Latvia has officially lodged his application to be the candidate of the centre-right European People's Party for the presidency of the European Commission. A party congress in Dublin will vote to decide the candidate on 7 March.
The British Conservative dominated group of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) will not propose a candidate for the EU Commission presidency. The group said that "to participate would be to legitimise the idea that a European executive should be chosen by a federal legislature."
The draft EU Council Regulation on the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th European Development Fund for the implementation of the Bridging Facility was published.
The European Parliament Development Committee will hold an in camera Strategic Dialogue with Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, on thematic programmes and the pan-African programme next week.
The ACP Eminent Persons Group will hold its fourth round of consultations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24 - 26 February, to gather views from stakeholders in the region on the outlooks for the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific Group.
The OECD published a paper on preparations for the first High-Level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals holds its first negotiation session on 3 March. The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing will meet from 3-7 March.
Trade and Finance Ministers from West Africa met to recommend the signing of Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. The EPA could then be approved at the ECOWAS Summit on 24-25 March.
A new round of Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the East African Community and the EU is planned for the end of this month/early next month. The European Union trade and communication counsellor Christophe De Vroey said he was optimistic that the bloc and the East Africa Community member states would strike an Economic Partnership Agreement before the October 1 deadline.
CTA hosts a meeting on agricultural resilience in the face of crisis and shocks on 4 March. ECDPM associate, Bastiaan Van Helden, will attend.
ECDPM’s Jeske van Seters, and Geert Laporte will make a presentation to the European Investment Bank’s seminar on a Post-Cotonou Agreement on 10 March.
For more on the latest policy issues concerning international cooperation, with a focus on the EU and its relations with the developing world, see ECDPM’s The Filter.
There will be no Weekly Compass for the next two weeks as I will be attending the ‘Making EU-Africa Relations Future-Proof’ meeting in Addis next week and then taking a week’s holiday. The next issue of the Weekly Compass will be published on 14 March. The Filter will be updated from 10 March onwards.
All the best,
Melissa Julian
Communications Manager


Off The Track   
Boring Development
“The real work of development is not glamorous. It’s not exciting. It doesn’t photograph well. It doesn’t make for great cocktail party chatter” is the mantra of this new blog that aims to bring dialogue on development back to down to earth. 

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