The field competing for influence in Africa is becoming increasingly crowded. Under Ursula von der Leyen, who has billed her new European Commission as a ‘geopolitical Commission’, the EU will have to improve its offer to African leaders, and quickly.
The European Commission announced on Wednesday (2 October) the launch of negotiations with the five-nation Eastern and Southern African community on a new wide-ranging trade agreement.
Negotiators are hoping to break the back on talks for the successor to the Cotonou Agreement, which expires in May 2020, between the EU and 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker held out the promise of an EU-Africa trade pact on Wednesday as part of a ‘partnership of equals’ between the two continents, signalling Europe's stronger involvement in Africa, where Chinese influence is rapidly spreading.
Increasing trade between the EU and the ACP (African-Caribbean-Pacific), particularly African countries, lay at the heart of the ambition of the Cotonou Agreement. That was supposed to be embodied by regional Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with ...