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Editor's Pick

Mining needs shared value and partnerships

As resource-rich countries continue to enjoy high growth rates, time has come to think about what collaborative business relationships can finally do for inclusive and sustainable development. In this two-part blog, Isabelle Ramdoo says that the extractive sector needs to focus on shared value and partnerships to address the problem of slow ‘trickle down’ benefits of the industry. It is touted as the next big ‘(r)evolution’ for the sector, and was one of the major discussions at the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town this week. Isabelle says ‘creating and sharing economic value in a way that all stakeholders get something meaningful out of it can be an important catalyst to address some of the challenges faced by the extractive sector.’ Read Part one on shared value and part two on partnerships
 
Policy News

GREAT Insights: Fostering More, and Better, Jobs
                                  
Unemployment is a global challenge, currently at a world average of 6%. But it particularly affects young people, with youth unemployment at 13.1%. The average unemployment rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is 7.6% (up to 11.9% for the youth). The creation of jobs, and better quality jobs, cannot be viewed as an independent policy, but must be an overarching objective integrated in a comprehensive package of public policy actions, in partnership with private and social actors. But this is easier said than done. This issue of GREAT insights brings together a range of views and expertise to highlight the various dimensions of the challenges of creating more and better jobs. It includes articles, by Roland Michelitsch, International Finance Corporation and Agnes Soucat & Rosemond Offei-Awuku from the African Development Bank.

Click the link in the title or READ THE PDF

Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in fragile states

The share of the world’s poor found in fragile states is set to rise to a half by 2018; of the seven countries that are unlikely to meet a single Millennium Development Goal, six are fragile. Highlighted in the OECD’s latest report on Fragile States, it also shows that Aid has declined by 2.4% in 2011 and will continues its downward trend. Focusing on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation, they ask how donors can use their aid to support fragile states in mobilising more domestic revenue. Fragile states still only collect 14% of their Gross Domestic Product in taxes, yet a mere 0.07% of Official Development Assistance goes to building accountable tax systems.

Lessons from the Maputo Development Corridor and the North-South Corridor
 
Transport corridors linking landlocked countries to the sea are complex, but essential regional undertakings in Africa. What does a closer look at the economic and political processes of two such transport corridors in Southern Africa tell about the drivers and obstacles of regional integration? Bruce Byiers and Jan Vanheukelom from ECDPM, in partnership with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), look at the Political Economy of Regional Integration in Africa, and find that despite support for this regional agenda, implementation is slow due to numerous complexities and obstacles. Narrowing the focus on transport and on two specific transport corridors in Southern Africa helps unpack these complexities. It contributes to identifying obstacles to reforms and opportunities for reforms. Careful alignment of reform coalitions around cross-border projects such as corridors may contribute to trust and capacity building between countries in support of incremental and functional regional integration. 

    

The political economy of regional integration in Africa


What are the dynamics of regional integration in Southern Africa? How can we enhance EU-South African cooperation? The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and ECDPM partnered to produce a political economy analysis on regional integration in Southern Africa. The partnership’s objective has been to enhance EU-South African cooperation and understanding and to deconstruct the regional integration dynamics in Southern Africa. Where has regional cooperation in Southern Africa has worked well? Where is new thinking underway? Built around three areas, this series of papers looks at the role of private sector in public-private cooperation towards regional cooperation; governance of regional public goods (with cases on energy, water, wildlife and forestry) and the complexities of infrastructure planning as an essential element of fostering intra-regional trade and cooperation.

Imported Nutrition Plans Not Healthy for Africa

African nutritionists have called for homegrown nutrition plans saying imported initiatives are not healthy for the continent. They said the current nutrition agenda in most African countries focuses on treatment and technical solutions like vitamin and mineral supplementation, instead of prevention through community-based interventions. Their sentiments headline a report of the two-year study into sustainable nutrition in Africa, published last week in PLOS Medicine journal. The study was carried out by the Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come (Sunray), an EU-funded nutrition project in several African countries including Kenya.
 
Recent Developments and Future Challenges in EU International Cooperation
 

Bridging the policy to practice divide and not shying away from the political fundamentals that have to be addressed - ECDPM’s latest book ‘European Union's International Cooperation: Recent Developments and Future Challenges’ launched last week is now also available to download as an e-book!
 

[DOWNLOAD NOW]

US$70 billion Eastern Europe illicit financial flows revealed as calls for new European transparency standard grow

Global Financial Integrity (GFI) revealed that nearly US$70 billion in illicit financial flows—the proceeds of crime, corruption, and tax evasion—flowed into or out of developing and emerging EU member-states in 2011. They urged members of the European Parliament to support the creation of public registries of corporate ownership information in the upcoming vote on key revisions to the European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive. A vote on the 13th February to establish such a registry would be a key moment for the future of financial transparency, GFI argues. “David Cameron set a new global standard last fall….It is now time for the full European Union to decide if it will rise to that standard

SAIIA Launch new African Peer Review Mechanism Toolkit

The APRM Toolkit has been substantially redesigned and is a comprehensive repository of APRM knowledge for continental practitioners, civil society members, academics, students, journalists and donors. Designed to provide a single entry point for access to all of the most important APRM official documents and independent analysis of the process, the Toolkit contains founding documents, country review and progress reports, academic and civil society papers on the mechanism, APRM standards, as well as research and training materials published by SAIIA. It also has relevant audio and video podcasts reflecting on aspects of the APRM. 

An EU ‘foreign policy identity’?

Working at the nexus between academic research and an inside look at this new service this latest book from the Department of Political Science at Universität Innsbruck looks at this new service, inviting the best scholars and practitioners in the field to contribute. It argues the various departments in and outside of the EEAS dealing with EU external relations need to continuously and steadily network in all areas of the EU’s politico-strategic level.  “A number of mid-term challenges remain”, say Andrea Frontini and Paul Ivan in their paper. 

More news from The Filter

The African Peer Review Mechanism Gets Back to Business
 
Governance problems are not being addressed as decisively as hoped, and unrealistic, expensive National Programmes of Action are hampering the implementation of remedial and redress programmes. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has succeeded in publishing frank and comprehensive review reports, yet without high level engagement and support, the APRM is currently struggling to make a real impact on governance in the region.
 
French Institute for International Relations launch new blog
 
Afrique Décryptages is a new blog by the The Sub-Saharan Africa programme of the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri). Serving as a space for new publications, research, meeting reports and events the blog is also an outlet for opinions on a broad variety of current issues related to Africa. Recent topics include: consumer behavior; political developments; the extractive sector; investing; and renewable energies. Ifri is a think tank focusing on analysis of international relations and global governance.

    

Making EU aid to Egypt more effective in a turbulent political climate

The EU’s assistance strategy has been unable to handle Egypt’s tumultuous political realities, and If the EU is to offer effective assistance to support Egypt’s democratic progress, it must significantly change its strategy. It is clear that deep-seated political tensions are unlikely to recede swiftly in Egypt and the road to democracy will continue to be long and hard, and donor assistance efforts will have to endure through thick and thin if they are to have any impact.

Tanzania progress as regional trade and investment hub

Private investment in Tanzania has considerably risen since the early 1990s, further progress can be made to improve the business climate and attract more investment in key sectors, such as infrastructure and agriculture. The OECD investment policy review evaluated Tanzania's current policy situation and makes recommendations for enabling the country to attract higher investment so as to exploit its full potential and become a regional trade and investment hub.

Political freedom in decline

The state of freedom, political rights and civil liberties declined across the globe for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom House. Their country-by-country report ‘Freedom in the World’ 2014 raised notable developments including Egypt and other large, politically influential countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Venezuela and Indonesia.
 
Why Don’t African Firms Create More Jobs?
 
Are African firms creating fewer jobs than those located in other parts of the world? And, if so, why? Using data from 41,000 firms across 119 countries to examine the drivers of job creation. This latest paper from the Centre for Global Development finds that African firms, at any age, tend to be 20–24 percent smaller than comparable firms in other regions of the world.
 
Surges and stops in FDI flows to developing countries : does the mode of entry make a difference ?
 
This paper investigates the factors associated with foreign direct investment sharp increases and decreases in foreign direct investment. Greenfield-led surges and stops are more likely in low-income and resource-rich countries than elsewhere. Global growth, financial openness, and domestic economic and financial instability enable mergers and acquisitions-led surges.
 
A continental strategy at risk
 
The 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) is one of the main frameworks for Africa-European Union (EU) relations. It was intended to end the unbalanced donor-recipient relationship typical of past relations between Africa and the EU, and to be a truly diverse and people-focused initiative, where civil society had a key place alongside institutions and member governments. The upcoming Africa-EU Summit in April 2014 envisages its reform.
 
China returns to hunt for African mine assets
 
China is seeking out new copper, iron ore and uranium deposits in a sign that Beijing is still a keen investor in African industry. However, executives and bankers attending the annual Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town have warned that China is unlikely to spend large sums solely to secure a flow of commodities, as it did until 2012. Instead, they said Beijing was more likely to buy smaller assets offering strong financial returns and raw materials.
 
Open Call for Universities to participate in the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) Survey.

The Commission of the African Union has spearheaded the development of the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) to establish an African system that will ensure that the performance of higher education institutions can be measured against a set of agreed criteria. Quality assurance in higher education institutions is one core basis for revitalizing higher education in Africa.
 
UN Global Compact consultations on Food and Agriculture Business Principles
 
The United Nations Global Compact consultations on Food and Agriculture Business Principles (FABs) will be hosting consultations on 11 February 2014 at the European Parliament, A1G2, from 17.30 to 19.30pm, in Brussels. For further details on this opportunity to participate in the FABs consultation, please contact Ms. Adrienne Gardaz gardaz@un.org or Ms. Jessica Tristano jessica.tristano@europarl.europa.eu. 


 

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No 178, 07/02/2014


Dear Jacques,
 
The EU has denied allegations that Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is barred from attending the upcoming Africa-EU summit, saying he is welcome to participate in the meeting. "All African Heads of State/Government, will be welcome to attend the 4th EU-Africa,” the statement said.
 
African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma foresees a conflict-free continent with silicon savannahs, high-speed railways, a common language, diplomatic clout, cutting-edge fashion and leadership in space exploration. This was the vision of a transformed Africa laid out before a continental summit this week. The Decisions and Recommendations of the African Union Executive Council Session of 21–28 January and the Decisions and Declaration of the African Union Assembly of 30-31 January were published.
 
The African Union (AU) has given the International Criminal Court (ICC) until April 30 to come up with a plan on how to get The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in order, or risk a mass pull out by all its 34 member states. In a letter to the ICC President Sang Hyung Song, the AU identified four areas they want addressed and which relate to the investigative standards of the OTP and its independence.
 
Jean-Claude Juncker, former Luxembourg prime minister, has become the frontrunner to become the European Commission presidential candidate of the EU’s centre-right Christian Democrats after securing the backing of the party’s key leaders according to the Financial Times.
 
European Voice reports that the procedure for appointing the European Union's next high representative for foreign affairs and security policy later this year is fraught with uncertainties that make the outcome hard to predict. There are three people whose apparent ambition to succeed Catherine Ashton as high representative stands a chance of success.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Customs Union says it is time to engage, compromise and deliver on the financial Transaction Tax. He says there would be nothing wrong with a gradual implementation of the tax, if that is what the Member States are more comfortable with today for as long as this first step is clearly enshrined in an agreed path towards the eventual implementation of a broad base FTT.
 
Affecting all EU Member States, corruption costs the European economy around 120 billion euros per year. Member States have taken many initiatives in recent years, but the results are uneven and more should be done to prevent and punish corruption. See also Frequently Asked Questions and summaries.
 
The negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements between East Africa Community (EAC) member states and the European Union have once again failed to strike a deal. The two parties failed to agree on contentious issues of duties and taxes on exports and on Most Favoured Nations. However the meeting managed to conclude on the issues of the institutional arrangements and dispute settlement.
 
The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and former South African President Thabo Mbeki, head of the High-level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, this week stressed the need for global efforts to address the problem of illicit financial flows from Africa. It is estimated that Africa loses over $50 billion a year in illicit financial flows, far exceeding the amount of official development assistance the continent receives. The High-level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa is expected to submit its final report by June this year. The report will include observations about the problem, as well as detailed proposals on how both the continent and the rest of the world can respond.

UN General Assembly President John Ashe launched a major effort to harness the support of all 193 United Nations Member States and civil society to formulate a new development agenda. Ashe has set six major initiatives to jumpstart progress on sustainable development after 2015.
 
In an informal session on February 4, the co-chair of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals told delegates that informal consultations with member states had allowed them to come to rapid agreement on the way forward for the SDGs. The next steps will include the co-chairs formulating a stocktaking document that reviews everything discussed over the past year.
 
A meeting of the Steering Committee meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation takes place in Abuja on 13-14 February. This will be an important milestone in the lead up to the High-Level Meeting in April. The revised concept note and outline agenda for the First High-Level Meeting was published.
 
The EU's trade chief will present a voluntary scheme in March aimed at stemming the import of minerals from conflict zones and prevent mining them from financing war and strife.
 
The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee will have an exchange of views with the former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, chair of the High Level Panel on illicit financial flows from Africa. Watch live or a recording after.
 
The European Parliament Trade Committee will hold an exchange of views with Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization on the WTO and the post-Bali agenda. They will also have an exchange of views with Business Europe and the European Trade Union Confederation on the EU trade policy. Watch live or a recording after.
 
The European Parliament Development Committee will have a presentation of the study and exchange of views on Financing for Development and promoting development through responsible business practices, including the role of extractive industries in developing countries. Watch live or a recording after.
 
The European Parliament will also hold a Hearing on "Women in Peace Processes" on 13
February. Watch live or a recording after.
 
MEPs are to vote on 13 February on a proposal revising European Union rules combating money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. But negotiations are still ongoing over a radical amendment introduced by Judith Sargentini, a Green Dutch MEP who is one of two MEPs leading the European Parliament's response to the proposal.
 
ECDPM’s Bruce Byiers will be a moderator at a European Commission consultation meeting next week on strengthening the role of the private sector in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries
 
San Bilal will be on the panel of a European Parliament Hearing on ACP Countries and Economic Partnership Agreements. You can watch live or view a recording of the meeting.

Francesco Rampa will attend the UN Global Compacts, consultation on the Food and Agriculture Business Principles.
 
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.

All the best,
 
Melissa 


Melissa Julian
Communications Manager
mj@ecdpm.org



Off The Track   
 
Curbing illicit financial flows from Africa

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ms. Linda Thomas-Greenfield has announced US support for efforts by the UN High Level Panel (HLP) on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa to curb the outflows that have crippled Africa’s efforts to sustain economic growth and develop over the last decades. 



 

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