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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.

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Editor's Pick

Are Africa and Europe Turning a New Page in Their Relationship?
The 4th EU-Africa Summit planted the seeds for a potentially stronger, more balanced partnership between the EU and Africa. ECDPM’s Faten Aggad and James Mackie provide our first analysis of the outcomes of the 4th EU-Africa Summit. It would seem the relationship is slowly moving towards a more standard international diplomatic relationship where both parties more openly stress complementarities and interests. We will watch to see if this is a real shift in Africa – EU relations that will last for the long term.  In a few years, we may look back on the Summit as something of a threshold moment in Africa-EU relations. It will be important to keep up the momentum. A starting point would be for the Roadmap to be further detailed to identify ways to operationalise the agreed priorities. To gather real momentum Mrs Dlamini-Zuma will need a strong counterpart on the EU side – a challenge for the incoming EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security perhaps?

 
Policy News

Emerging Economies and Africa: GREAT Insights Magazine
This bumper issue of ECDPM’s GREAT Insights magazine brings together a wide array of contributions on the multi-dimensions of role and influence of emerging global economies in Africa, including in relation to more traditional partners. As many of the traditional arguments about emerging players in Africa are over simplistic, our articles this month come from authors based in China, Ethiopia, Turkey, India, the EU, Indonesia, Ghana and other African nations ensuring we bring you as diverse a range of perspectives as possible. The latest Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is also online, detailing the blocked ECOWAS deal this month.
 
New Deal for Fragile States Needs Time and Political Commitment to Flourish
Some claim the 2011 “New Deal” for Engagement in Fragile States is already in crisis, but statebuilding demands patience, resources and resolve writes Helder da Costa, General Secretary of the g7+ in The Guardian. The New Deal calls for peacebuilding and statebuilding objectives to be at the forefront of international efforts in conflict-affected countries. But to achieve change on the ground, the New Deal must change mindsets and shift priorities at the very highest levels. Yet it has too often been seen as a technocratic exercise, something that can be "implemented" by one or two ministries and their local donors. Da Costa argues we need to bring the politics back in. This means building momentum and commitment to change at all levels of society, from the grassroots to the president. You can also listen to a podcast on what he expects from the First High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership.
 
Financing for Development Post-2015: Improving the Contribution of Private Finance
Global public finance cannot be directly substituted by private finance, as the former pays for public goods, is more predictable and counter-cyclical and can be targeted at the poorest countries according to this study by Eurodad for the European Parliament. Leveraging private finance has faced many problems including in proving additionality, intransparency and lack of ownership, and poor evidence of development impact. Instead, we should focus on how international public flows can reduce barriers to private sector investment through investing in essential services, and how the EU can alter policies including by reforming investment treaties, curbing illicit financial flows, supporting fair debt workout mechanisms and developing responsible financing standards according to the report.
 
The Road Ahead for the African Governance Architecture: An Overview of Current Challenges and Possible Solutions
Nicola Tissi and ECDPM’s Faten Aggad-Clerx, in the report for SAIIA, put forward tentative recommendations to overcome challenges and carry the shared values agenda forward, with a focus on the transition of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) from a set of scattered instruments and actors into a fully-fledged architecture with continental legitimacy. The AGA and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) are crucial to secure operational linkages in light of the growing political appetite for the governance-security nexus in Africa and with the aim to trigger a much-hoped-for integrated response to the continual governance and security crises in the continent. They also call for a redefinition of the role of the African Peer Review Mechanism within the nascent AGA.
 
EU Africa Trade - Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The current EU-US negotiations should be a wake-up call for African governments to be proactive and limit the burden that a trade deal of this magnitude will unquestionably bring along according to Annie Mutamba in a article on the Africa-Europe Relations-Looking Beyond 2014 blog. A lot is at stake, including the added value of the Africa-EU partnership. African leaders are facing a challenge of priority setting with strong policy implications. Should they adopt a wait-and-see approach until they have a better understanding of how TTIP, if successful, will roll out in practice? Or take proactive steps to ensure that improved transatlantic ties do not come at their expense? The clock is ticking.  
 
Good News from Durban: CAADP Getting More Result-Oriented!
This year, its 10th anniversary, is “make or break” for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). ECDPM’s Francesco Rampa was in Durban for the CAADP Partnership Platform and he reports that the programme has good chances of making it. The Platform adopted the CAADP Partnership Agreement and the Results Framework (that should improve accountability of the process) as well as proposals for thematic goals and actions for the next 10 years to be endorsed by African Leaders in coming months. Despite still insufficient engagement by national level stakeholders, Rampa stresses two other positive results from Durban where ECDPM has been closely involved: the work-stream on Regional Trade and Infrastructure, and the CAADP Multi-Donor Trust Fund II.

Two Sides to Ethiopia: The Plea for Press Freedom
On one side, there is the Ethiopia as celebrated by the international aid community and the European Union: a country which is growing fast and seriously fighting poverty, a country which wisely uses the considerable international assistance that it receives to channel it towards sustainable development. On the other side there is the Ethiopia as criticized by press freedom and human rights groups. A country ruled by an authoritarian regime, the second largest jailer of journalists in Africa, a country which misuses laws on anti-terrorism and civil society regulation to chill speech and prevent journalists from doing their legitimate watchdog work. Read the latest #AfricaEU2014 blog by Jean-Paul Marthoz.

 

More news from The Filter

Getting real about politics: From thinking politically to working differently
One of the most important lessons to emerge in international development thinking and practice over the past two decades is that institutions matter for development, and that behind institutions lie politics, writes ODI.
 
Assessing Civil Society Engagement in the New Deal: Opportunities and Challenges
This report from Peace Portal assesses the degree of civil society engagement in parallel international and national processes and identifies contributions civil society has made to the New Deal process and the challenges that exist to greater civil society engagement.
 
Africa still rising, but must cut poverty and create jobs
African presidents and policy makers at a Reuters Africa Summit pushed back against pessimism to tell the world their continent's economic boom is real and sustained, but they say it must work harder to roll back poverty and create youth employment.
 
Development policy is in a systemic crisis
International development cooperation faces a systemic crisis because of the way it is organised and implemented, it is part of the problem it wants solve. As a response, there has been an attempt at system reform that, in terms of ambition and recognition, is unprecedented in the history of development cooperation, writes DIE.
 
The impact on development policy of the radical right in the European Parliament
At the European level, radical right parties could see an almost 50% increase in their number of seats. This increase could result in a stronger influence over European decision-making, with implications for reduced aid budgets, aid tied to national interests and potentially a threat to the EU aid programme, write ODI.
 
European Common Security and Defence Policy Handbook for Decision Makers
The full spectrum of the Common Security and Defence Policy is presented in articles by over 50 experts from inside and outside the EU structures in 237 illustrated pages, published by the European External Action Service (EEAS).
 
Progress report on illicit financial flows
The latest progress report of the UNECA-African Union High-level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa states that reforms to ease Illicit financial flows are political.
 
Defining ‘aspirational yet attainable targets’ for new goals post-2015
How could ‘aspirational yet attainable targets’ be defined for the new post-2015 goals? ODI suggest a way to make goals nationally relevant, but without the complexity of country-by-country target setting.
 
Boosting access to raw materials in Europe
A milestone of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials was reached as the first set of commitments by over 800 companies, public agencies, research institutes, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders from all over Europe.

UN food security and nutrition targets for post-2015 agenda
The FAO, IFAD and the WFP unveiled the results of their joint work to develop targets and indicators for a new global development paradigm for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition.

World Economic Outlook: Recovery Strengthens, Remains Uneven
Global activity has broadly strengthened and is expected to improve further in 2014–15, according to the IMF, with much of the impetus for growth coming from advanced economies. Emerging market economy policymakers must adopt measures to changing fundamentals, facilitate external adjustment, further monetary policy tightening, and carry out structural reforms.
 
Will the post-2015 goals be any use?
The post-2015 development goals need show how to reduce fragility and increase resilience in conflict-prone contexts, argues Phil Vernon
 
Who Audits the Auditors: Scandal at the Heart of the APRM
Inside figures allege that the APRM is fraught with corruption and mismanagement, and that its integrity and independence have been undermined, reports Think Africa Press
 
Aid-for-trade flows rebound
Aid for trade has bounced back with Africa as the largest beneficiary, WTO members heard in a meeting where they discussed the priorities and initiatives for the next two years. 

For more articles, see The Filter

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No 185, 11th April 2014 


Dear <<First name>>,

This week the Drafting Committee of the ACP Eminent Persons Group launched their work to analyse the data collected so far from regional stakeholder consultations on issues related to the sustainable future of the organisation. There is an overwhelming belief that the ACP Group should remain – the question is, in what form, and in which focus areas. The group will submit proposals on how to reorient the ACP Group directly to Heads of State and Government by the end of the year.

Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers met this week. The focus was on concluding the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the EU as a single unified region. There are a number of developments pointing to the importance of concluding the negotiations within the next few months including the deadline for the amendment to the EU’s market access regulation that will come into effect on 1 October 2014.

African high-level officials indicate that negotiations for the establishment of a free-trade area spanning three major regional economic communities in Africa – the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - have progressed well and could conclude by the end of this year. The Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) will cover 26 countries with an estimated gross domestic product of about USD 1 trillion. The TFTA will then serve as a basis for the completion of a Continental Free Trade Area by 2017 and is expected to boost trade within Africa by at least 25-30 per cent in the next decade and ultimately establish an African Economic Community.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), development aid rose by 6.1% in real terms in 2013 to reach the highest level ever recorded, despite continued pressure on budgets in OECD countries since the global economic crisis. Donors provided a total of USD 134.8 billion in net official development assistance, marking a rebound after two years of falling volumes, as a number of governments stepped up their spending on foreign aid. The European Union and its Member States continued to be the world's largest aid donor in 2013, providing more than half of the Official Development Assistance. EU ODA increased to €56.5 billion in 2013 and remained at 0.43% of EU gross national income

The OECD also published “Geographical Distribution of Financial Flows to Developing Countries 2014” providing comprehensive data on the volume, origin and types of aid and other resource flows to around 150 developing countries.

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation issued a report, “Making Development Co-operation More Effective”, that finds that there is strong commitment to improve development co-operation. Efforts to open up an opportunity for developing countries to have a bigger voice in development are starting to make a tangible difference to how development co-operation is carried out. The report reviews progress at the half-way point between 2011, when new commitments were made globally, and the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals.

The first High-Level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation takes place next week in Mexico. Ministers and leaders from business, civil society, international organizations, private foundations and other organisations will assess global progress in implementing the Global Partnership principles and advance the Global Partnership’s focus areas, including; the role of middle-income countries in effective development co-operation; boosting the mobilization and collection of tax and domestic resources; promoting knowledge for effective development; supporting inclusive development partnerships; engaging with the private sector in development; supporting the sharing of knowledge for results; and increasing transparency in development co-operation.

The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council next week will discuss preventative foreign policy on global issues and follow up to the European Council’s conclusions on the Common Security and Defence Policy.

ECDPM’s Andrew Sherriff will facilitate part of the Capcity4dev and Learning4dev training course on Fragility, Security and Development in the context of EU external action next week.

Faten Aggad-Clerx will attend the African Union Commission workshop to engage Civil Society Organisations, Media and State Parties in the advocacy for the ratification, domestication, implementation and reporting processes of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in Dakar on 21 – 24 April. The objective of the workshop is to engage civil society organization and Media in the advocacy and sensitization process for Member State’s ratification of the Charter, the accession of Member States to the Charter as well as for its effective and efficient implementation in order to positively influence the lives of African people on participatory, accountable and inclusive democracy issues.

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.

If you’re in Brussels this weekend and next, you should visit the Hallerboss. The next two weekends the forest floor will be covered with beautiful purple flowers.  There’s a café/restaurant, Het Kriekske in the forest with a large terrace where you and your family/friends can have a nice drink/lunch or dinner.

There will be no Weekly Compass next week due to holidays. The next issue will be published on 25 April.

All the best,

Melissa
Melissa Julian
Communications Manager
mj@ecdpm.org


Off The Track   

U.S. Shows New Interest in Africa

Both the administration and experts have now developed a sense for the strategic value of the African continent, says Jennifer Cooke at CSIS. Among the factors which led to the rethink are security concerns. Cooke says Africa "is one of the most promising environments for extremist groups and transnational criminal networks who are getting pushed out of other areas of the world and may find a haven in Africa."

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