ECDPM's Weekly Compass update

European Centre for Development Policy Management Newsletter
25 April 2014

Melissa Jullian

Communications Manager

Dear <<First name>>,

Welcome to the brand new look Weekly Compass! We’ve re-designed it to be in line without our new website which we launched this week. The site includes new exciting content such as multimedia, embedded publications, a fresh modern look and much more. Do have a look. The Weekly Compass contains the same guide of Africa-EU policy news as always.

This week, the Editor’s Pick highlights the new Afrobarometer survey showing that while most Africans prefer democracy, most political leaders fail to deliver.

In our Policy news items, we highlight ECDPM’s new paper on de-coding public-private partnership for development. We also look at the IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, an interview with the ACP Chairman on the Group’s priorities and research on ensuring stable and peaceful societies.

We also post 2 new job openings at ECDPM.

Please do send us your feedback on the new Weekly Compass and website.

All the best,


Demand for Democracy is Rising in Africa, but Most Political Leaders Fail to Deliver

Seven out of ten Africans prefer democracy to other political regimes, and the proportion of deeply committed democrats has risen steadily over the past decade according to citizen attitude surveys conducted by the Afrobarometer in 34 countries. The study points out that while ordinary Africans clamour for high-quality elections and leadership accountability, too many political leaders continue to manipulate the polls, challenge term limits, and even seize power by coup. Several African countries – notably Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe – continue to experience a deficit of democracy in which popular demand for democracy greatly exceeds the amount of democracy that political elites are willing or able to supply. 
Photo: 112 combination, Mark Menzies

De-coding Public-Private Partnerships for Development

The development recommendations from the European External Action Service (EEAS) Review are credible, but incomplete according to a commentary from ODI. The EEAS was established in 2010 and the Review, published in July 2013, was the first opportunity to assess its strengths and weaknesses. Proposals to strengthen the role of the High Representative and the EEAS should include strong legislative protection of a poverty focus on aid and better organisation of parliamentary committees on external issues, says the report. ODI stresses the EEAS should play a key role in improving the EU’s internal coordination and the coherence of EU external action and instruments. However, to do this effectively will continue to be the biggest challenge.

Africa Set for Faster Growth, but Subject to Risks 

The development recommendations from the European External Action Service (EEAS) Review are credible, but incomplete according to a commentary from ODI. The EEAS was established in 2010 and the Review, published in July 2013, was the first opportunity to assess its strengths and weaknesses. Proposals to strengthen the role of the High Representative and the EEAS should include strong legislative protection of a poverty focus on aid and better organisation of parliamentary committees on external issues, says the report. ODI stresses the EEAS should play a key role in improving the EU’s internal coordination and the coherence of EU external action and instruments. However, to do this effectively will continue to be the biggest challenge.

Interview with ACP Chairman on the Group’s Priorities

Current Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, Tanzanian Ambassador Diodorus Kamala, tells ACP Press that one of the Group’s main priorities is a stock-taking of the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the EU to ensure they deliver development objectives. Another is to finalise the ACP-EU Joint Private Sector Development Strategy. The position on the future of the ACP Group after the 2020 expiration of the ACP-EU Agreement will also be finalised this year. “Our original mistake of course with the EPAs was breaking up and negotiating in regions. But we cannot correct that mistake by making another one, that is, by Africa continuing on its own, or the Caribbean on its own or the Pacific on its own”, says Kamala. ECDPM also interviewed Kamala in the margins of the European Development Days where he talks about barriers to trade and policy coherence in relation to bio-fuels and the issues of food security.

Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies

While there is widespread support for the need to foster peaceful, non-violent and inclusive societies, there is some disagreement as to how this objective can be achieved within the context of the post-2015 development agenda. This paper from the NYU Center on International Cooperation reflects on potential areas of consensus between member states to identify concrete ways in which peace and stability can underpin an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future. However, there are areas of disagreement such as some member states position on the role for peace and stability in the post-2015 development agenda. Overall, the principle of universality within the post 2015 development agenda rests on a commitment to domestic implementation.


ECDPM is looking for an entrepreneurial professional to contribute to the Centre’s dialogue, networking, policy research and capacity development activities. Junior Policy Officer in the Economic Transformation Programme: The right candidate will have an economic degree with some experience and knowledge relating to economic transformation, industrialisation and reform processes in Africa, especially taking a private sector perspective and understanding its role in promoting inclusive growth for sustainable development.

ECDPM is also recruiting a Research Assistant for the Conflict, Security and Resilience Programme to primarily work on the implementation of the research and policy-dialogue project “CAERUS: Bridging the Gap – Evidence based policy for post-crisis transition”.

This political risk map from AON measures political risks in 163 emerging market countries and territories. Key risks identified are exchange transfer, legal and regulatory risk, political interference, political violence, sovereign non-payment and supply chain disruption.

For a second straight year, FDI to developing economies remains soft, still below previous peaks according the the World Bank. FDI now appears stable and at high levels, but with persistent economic concerns and stuttering growth, it does not look likely to return to the growth rates of the mid 2000s anytime soon.

The World Economy released their special issue on Aid for Trade, including articles on ‘Evaluation in Aid for Trade: Introduction to the Symposium’ and ‘Aid for Trade: Do Those Countries that Need it, Get it?’

The Kiel Institute find that AfT increases recipient exports to donors as well as recipient imports from donors. The first effect tends to dominate the latter, which contradicts the skeptical view that donors grant AfT primarily to promote their own export interests.

Many millions of people in emerging markets have over the past 30 years moved out of poverty into the consuming middle classes. But with growth slowing in many countries, their fates are among the biggest challenges confronting governments says this series on ‘the fragile middle’ from the Financial Times.

Land Grab in Africa: a Review of Emerging Issues and Implications for Policy Options. From UNDP, this paper analyses the recent intensity of large-scale land acquisition in Africa.

Video meeting streaming from the OECD: What to Expect from the New Deal and the Peace- and State-building Goals.

While top-level meetings are a sign of the growing geopolitical importance of the continent, both the EU’s attempts to strengthen its partnership with Africa and its Joint Africa-EU Strategy have, to date, largely disappointed. The EU-Africa summit sought to place the partnership on a firmer footing says the EU Institute for Security Studies. 

Trade Facilitation Provisions in Regional Trade Agreements Traits and Trends. The geography and composition of international trade are changing fast. The WTO link a macroeconomic growth model and sectoral CGE framework in order to project the world economy forward to the year 2035.

Inclusive Growth: An imperative for African Agriculture. African Development Bank. The paper examines the context of agriculture and food security in the African setting, discusses inclusive growth in general and in the agriculture sector.

The 2014 edition of World Development Indicators (WDI) has just been released. WDI 2014 provides high-quality cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe.

Demonstrating Additionality in Private Sector Development Initiatives: A Practical Exploration of Good Practice for Challenge Funds and Other Cost-Sharing Mechanisms. A report from The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) says that donor agencies are increasingly interested in sharing the costs and risks of private investments in developing countries to promote economic development goals.

Development in fragile and conflict-affected contexts is both complex and contested. This policy brief from the Institute of Development Studies examines opportunities for Western donors to deepen collaboration with BRICS countries, and suggests that focusing on peacebuilding, aligning financial assistance in post-conflict reconstruction, and furthering cooperation in peacekeeping are all entry points to extend cooperation beyond the New Deal.

For more articles, see The Filter

This Week and Upcoming Events

African Union Ministers of Trade are meeting in Addis. Their discussions will include the 2015 launching of the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations as well as to consider reports on Africa’s response and implications of the WTO Bali Agreement. Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the EU are also on the agenda.

Transparency International published the first EU integrity report highlighting the risks of corruption in European institutions. A range of rules and practices support high standards of public service and accountability within the EU's bodies. Nonetheless, major flaws in the system can still be seen, such as the growing trend of EU institutions to negotiate laws behind closed doors.

The EU Court of Auditors published an Opinion on the proposal for a Council Regulation on the Financial Regulation applicable to the 10th European Development Fund for the implementation of the Bridging Facility. The Court regrets that the Commission has not yet proposed a single Financial Regulation applicable to all present and future EDFs.

The European Parliament adopted a Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies and groups. Companies concerned will need to disclose information on policies, risks and results as regards environmental matters, social and employee-related aspects, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity on boards of directors.

The European Commission launched a new website, the “EU Aid Explorer” showing what it funds and where in an effort to improve transparency, accountability and donor coordination.

The EU Council and Parliament adopted the legislative act establishing the European Year of Development 2015. It defines the objective of the European Year as informing EU citizens about the development cooperation of the EU and its member states, fostering their active interest and direct involvement and raising awareness of the benefits of EU development cooperation. It also sets out the tools used to achieve these goals and related financial arrangements.

The EU adopted a Regulation concerning the exercise of the Union's rights for the application and enforcement of international trade rules and laying down Community procedures in the field of the common commercial policy in order to ensure the exercise of the Community's rights under international trade rules, in particular those established under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.

EU Foreign Ministers extended the EU training mission in Mali and established an EU support mission for internal security in Mali.  

The EU endorsed the EU-Tunisia Action Plan for a privileged partnership and its matrix which will provide us with an operational roadmap for our bilateral relations in the next years. It contains orientations for progressive alignment to EU legal and regulatory acquis in key areas in order to establish closer economic integration with the EU with benefits for Tunisia in terms of foreign investment, market access, competitiveness and job creation. It also contains important objectives for the consolidation of the respect of human rights and democratic principles, improved governance and a more active involvement of the civil society.

The international community continues making progress toward greater cooperation to ensure effective information exchange in tax matters. The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes issued 12 new reports that highlight action being taken by jurisdictions to implement the international standard for exchange of information on request.  

Candidates for the European Commission Presidency will hold a debate in Maastricht on Monday. The event will be broadcast live by Euronews.

ECDPM’s Geert Laporte is speaking at the Europe-Africa Policy Research Network (EARN) event “The Global Game has Changes: What Role for Europe-Africa Relations?” next week. Bruce Byiers and Anna Rosengren will also be attending.

Also next week, James Mackie is giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee on the proposals for an independent Scotland international development programme.

Publisher: The Weekly Compass is produced by ECDPM with financial resources provided by our core and institutional funders: The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Melissa Jullian

Communications Manager,

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Disclaimer: This newsletter has been created with great care though it may contain links to websites which are created and maintained by other organisations and which have information that is not complete or accurate. The contents of this message may express personal views which are not the views of ECDPM unless specifically stated. Reproduction is authorised provided that the source is acknowledged. However, we are not liable for the subsequent use of the information. 

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