The Africa Roundtable N°4
The Africa Roundtable: The Africa Roundtable N°4
The fourth edition of The Africa Roundtable took place in Nairobi on April 28 as part of the prestigious Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW). Under the overarching theme of “Global Africa,” the IGW gathered decision:makers from both continents to debate Africa’s position in the world and the interests of global actors on the continent.
While the last roundtable in Dakar in November 2022 was dedicated to joint plans for a just green transition, energy and agriculture following COP27, this time we focused on perspectives arising from global geopolitical shifts. The need for decoupling and diversification sheds a different light on Africa and marks a turning point in European-African economic relations.
Under the credo “Roadmap to Africa,” we have sought sectors where trade and investment relations can be deepened to mobilize private and institutional finance and develop new economic perspectives for Europe-Africa cooperation. Honest and trusting partnerships between Africa and Europe have enormous potential for economic prosperity. However, there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome to ensure that these partnerships are sustainable and mutually beneficial.
Europe should recognize Africa's global importance and the current turning point in its economic history, act accordingly and make better offers in the face of growing competition. The loss of trust between the two continents should be mitigated by honoring (financial) commitments, reviewing frameworks, sharing data and recognizing respective interests. Both sides should move beyond a transactional approach to economic cooperation. Compared to competitors, sustainability could be Europe's global unique selling point.
African governments must ensure through appropriate reforms that economic growth benefits the broader population and reaches people beyond the political and economic elites. Africa should speak with a unified voice on the international stage and further strengthen the pan-African trade and regulatory framework to increase confidence and planning certainty for external actors. Multilateral bodies such as the G7, G20, and financial institutions must give Africa a seat at the table as a full member or a member with greater decision-making power. Europe must acknowledge the adverse impact of the regulatory framework on economic partnerships.
The focus of partners on both sides must shift from extracting raw materials to creating sustainable value chains and local production in proven as well as innovative high-tech sectors. Debt servicing and high risk premiums should be offset by credit rating reforms and data sharing to provide African states with access to affordable financing. Foreign direct investment should be encouraged through more public guarantees from sovereigns and development banks. SME finance needs more technical advisory and intermediary capacity to ensure implementation on the ground.
Stephanie Igunbor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Ries, email@example.com
Charlotta Ebert, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Africa Roundtable
The forum for decision-makers on African-European cooperation, which deals with current pressing issues and challenges of the neighbouring continents and develops partnership-based solutions.
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