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Editor's Pick

Arab youth on Chinese payroll
One of the root causes of the uprisings in North Africa last year was unemployment among a large part of the population, the youth. Their unemployment rate in the region is 24%, and notably higher than in other parts of Africa where only 12% of young people don’t have a job.  Dealing with this problem requires coherent national socio-economic policies by North African governments and one way of facing the challenge is securing ‘smart’ foreign direct investment - FDI that brings economic benefits and also guarantees job creation and skills transfer. A new paper published by the African Development Bank and co-authored by ECDPM’s Faten Aggad-Clerx looks at the role of China in reducing youth unemployment in North Africa. Two case studies from Algeria and Egypt provide a comparison on how Chinese investments have contributed to job creation in both countries. The paper provides policy recommendations to North African governments.  


Policy News

More regional cooperation needed for food security
Many African countries have programmes to boost their agricultural productivity to ensure food security. Through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), such national efforts could be strengthened by complementary policies at the regional and continental levels. In a series of Discussion Papers, ECDPM assesses the progress toward developing and implementing CAADP regional agricultural strategies. Analysis focuses on the major bottlenecks and opportunities for four African Regional Economic Communities, and the papers also identify potential synergies of CAADP with other regional programmes relevant for food security, such as in trade, infrastructure and natural resources. A further paper on cross cutting messages from all regional studies is forthcoming and ECDPM will co-organise a donor meeting on CAADP regional policies in Brussels next week.  
 
“Africa can embark on industrialization, just as China and India”
An issues paper by the African Union Commission and UNECA, prepared for the upcoming annual meeting of African Finance Ministers, examines key institutional and policy factors that are shaping Africa’s economic growth. It highlights the opportunities for the continent to become “a pole of global growth”, but to unleash this potential, African countries need to effectively address a set of constraints. Urgent and determined action of leaders is needed, for example when it comes to providing critical infrastructure or human capital development, the paper says.
 
Job prospects fail to convince the Pacific on EPA
The interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji signed in 2009 includes a special derogation to the standard rules of origin for processed fish as a means of helping the Pacific generate income and employment. A recent meeting of the Pacific-EU EPA Trade Committee discussed the implementation of this rule based on a report examining its development effects. Up to now, PNG made only limited use of the derogation, but five projects that should create 53,000 jobs by 2016 are in the pipeline. The PNG government indicated that it is considering whether to expand the trade agreement with the EU to issues such as services and investment on its own or collectively with the region. Though, no other Pacific country has as yet requested to join the interim EPA.

Additional articles in the Weekly Compass-Extended Version include:
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No. 102, 2 March 2012

Dear *|FNAME|*,
 
     This issue of the Weekly Compass covers the past three weeks due to missions and breaks. During that time the EU held summits with China and India.
     European External Action Service staff, previously disbursed throughout Brussels, were brought under one roof in the new EEAS headquarters.
     The European Commission established a Scientific Advisory Board for EU development policy which will meet a couple of times a year to discuss key topics of development policy.
     With a view to overcoming raw materials shortages and increasing production, the European Commission also proposed to set up a European Innovation Partnership on raw materials.
     The OECD Financial Action Task Force on money-laundering and financing for terrorism agreed new international standards. To meet these, the European Commission launched a process to review the functioning of the relevant legislation.
     The High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa was inaugurated on 18 February. The panel will amongst others, determine the nature, pattern, scope and channels of illicit financial outflows from the continent.
     The Busan Partnership Interim Group met for the first time to decide what the post-Busan architecture on aid effectiveness will look like. Ahead of their meeting next week, the OECD DAC published documents on the global development goals beyond 2015 and on where the DAC needs to forge political consensus.
     The East African Community held a workshop on the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the EU. The final round of negotiations is to be held this month.
     It was announced that South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Dlamini-Zuma will run again for the Chairmanship of the African Union after failing to secure the necessary 2/3 majority of the vote in January elections against Gabonese incumbent Jean Ping. Also, earlier this month, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance entered into force.
     An ECDPM delegation visited South Africa to brainstorm with different African partners on broadening their collaboration with ECDPM and exchange views on the various global issues on the emerging economies agenda. Agreements on future joint work were made with the Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
 
All the best,
Melissa
 
Melissa Julian
mj@ecdpm.org


Off the track

US President Obama’s 2013 budget proposals for development
The Center for Global Development assesses the administration’s priorities for development, noting that these now face Congressional scrutiny before final approval.

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Publisher: The Weekly Compass is produced by ECDPM This publication benefits from the generous support of ECDPM’s core and institutional funders: The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

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