12 Sept 2017



Virginia Mucchi
Head of Communications

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Dear <<First name>>,

The developments surrounding the Kenyan elections are raising new questions - and hopes - about democracy and the rule of law across the African continent, in this year of multiple elections. In our editor’s pick for this week, we highlight the importance of investing in the wider legal and political processes to bring about true democratic change in Africa.

We also feature a blog by Bruce Byiers and Karim Karaki, highlighting the importance of regional integration for the trade of what most would consider a rather anodyne product: cement. 

Finally, we present you a report on the EU’s External Financing Instruments. This comes at a critical moment as we approach the date for the Mid-term Review to be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council. The report analyses the past record of these instruments and their ability to address the challenges beyond 2020. 

All the best,
Virginia Mucchi


Editor's Pick

Photo courtesy of USAID/Nichole Sobecki via Flickr

The odyssey of elections in Africa: A new era of democracy and rule of law?

The Kenyan Supreme Court’s decision to annul the election results has raised the issue of the rule of law as a key element for true democratic change in Africa. By looking at the recent wave of elections, including Rwanda, Angola and Kenya, Luckystar Miyandazi underlines the need to concentrate on the legal and political frameworks supporting those elections.
Read The Blog


West African cement - stuck between politics and economics?

Photo courtesy of Simon Davis/DFID via Flickr.
Based on our recent paper, this new blog takes the example of cement as a sector where policy ambitions and private sector activities seem to align. Yet, it also identifies challenges and the need to take into account state-business relations in promoting economic transformation.
Read More

Coherence report: Insights from the external evaluation of the External Financing Instruments

By the end of 2017, a mid-term review of External Financing Instruments has to be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council. This Coherence Report by a consortium led by ECDPM’s Jean Bossuyt, provides a synthesis of evaluations conducted for each of the instrument. It helps to understand whether the current instruments were fit for purpose to begin with, whether they are responding to the evolving context now and whether they are fit to answer the needs of the future beyond 2020.
Read More



On 12 September, the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly will open. The General Debate will follow the theme, ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’.


12 September also marks the International Day for South-South Cooperation.

13 - 14 SEPT

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) organises a High Level Policy Dialogue on Conflict and Development in the Sahel Region from 13-14 September in Niamey, Niger.  

18 Sept

On September 18, a G5 Sahel donor conference for combatting cross-border terrorism will be held in Berlin.

Other news & interesting reads


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   According to the fifth progress report on the Partnership Framework on Migration, presented last week by the European Commission and the High Representative, the joint management of migration is having positive results.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   UNHCR estimates that 1.4 million people have been displaced as a result of
conflict in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls for urgent action as returned migrants are being robbed, raped and murdered in Libya. While laying out the state of play and next steps regarding migration, the Council of the European Union underlines that “arrangements with third countries to expedite return operations should continue to be pursued”.


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   A new paper by the International Monetary Fund explores how independent fiscal councils can improve the conduct of fiscal policy, whether they are simultaneously desirable for voters and elected policymakers and whether they are resilient to changes in political conditions.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   DEVEX clarifies some of the
vocabulary that is currently used in the field of development finance, a field that is rapidly evolving.


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   The African Development Bank reports on the 7th African Green Revolution Forum, held last week in Abidjan, and concludes that tackling climate change in Africa begins with smallholder farmers.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   A new book by IFPRI shows that to meet food security targets, we need a strong and efficient World Trade Organization (WTO) capable of conducting ambitious trade negotiations.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   The Global Nutrition Report explains the importance of nutrition vis-a-vis the cognitive development of children.


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   The Brookings Institute reflects on Kenya’s presidential
election, after an unprecedented court verdict declared the August election invalid.  

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   Tunisia has announced its will to join the regional bloc ECOWAS before the end of 2017. It is the second country from the Maghreb Union to present such request this year - the first being Morocco.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   Human Rights Watch sheds light on the use of torture by
al-Sisi’s government in Egypt, urging the president to take action, and the international community to inflict higher punishment for the perpetrators.


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   In an interview with the Deutsche Welle, German Defense Minister calls for progress in the peace process in Mali, as over 1000 German troops have been stationed in the country.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png  A new UNDP study on the drivers and incentives that push people into extremism in Africa highlights that, besides poverty and unemployment, one of the decisive elements bringing people towards terrorism
are in fact governmental measures aimed at countering terrorism.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png  In a press-release, the European Commission has reported on a series of actions taken to strengthen the Union’s security.


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   The opening essay in the Summer 2017 Global Trendometer: Essays on medium-and long-term global trends by the European Parliament explains why female empowerment is essential for demographic transition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   An article featured by the BizCommunity casts light on the crucial role of women participation in intra-African trade for sustainable growth on the continent.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   A policy brief by Brookings traces the positive - yet not straightforward - correlation between democracy, gender equality and security.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   A study by the World Bank shows evidence of the positive impact of cash transfers on women from ultra-poor households in northern Nigeria.


58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   In 2016, resources to support development in African countries have decreased by 22% since 2012, according to the 2017 Data report by the advocacy organisation ONE.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   The Center for Global Development launched its Commitment to Development Index 2017, ranking 27 of the world's richest countries on policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations.

58239fd1-0d8c-413c-8f2a-c2f72cf5dab5.png   During the UN General Assembly last week, the United Nations deputy chief called for reinvigorating the Organisation’s work in and on urban areas.

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