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EU-African Economic Relations: Continuing Dominance Traded for Aid?

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  • Dirk Kohnert

    ()
    (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)

Abstract

Promising growth rates, increased trade, and competition among major global players for African resources have boosted the development and bargaining power of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in relation to the EU. However, Africa's least developed countries remain vulnerable to external shocks. Academic analysis is still too heavily influenced by scholastic controversies. Neither the controversy over “big-push” concepts nor the blaming of African culture as an impediment to growth or good government do justice to the real issues at stake. Even beyond the aftermath of (neo)colonialism, and notwithstanding continuing deficits in good government in many African countries, the EU bears responsibility for the fragile state of many African economies. The self-interested trade policies of the EU and other world powers contribute to poverty and unsatisfactory development in SSA. This threatens to perpetuate asymmetrical power relations in the new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), to the detriment of regional integration and pro-poor growth. However, mounting competition between China and other global players for Africa's resources is resulting in windfall profits for Africa. The latter is leading to a revival of seesaw politics, already known from the times of the Cold War, on the part of African states. This could be profitable for Africa's power elite, but not necessarily for Africa's poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies in its series GIGA Working Paper Series with number 82.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:82

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Keywords: economic integration; trade policy; aid; international migration; regional integration; EU; Africa; China;

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References

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  1. Matthias Busse & José Luis Groizard, 2006. "Does Africa Really Benefit from Trade?," DEA Working Papers 21, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
  2. Kym Anderson & Will Martin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2005. "Would Multilateral Trade Reform Benefit Sub-Saharan Africans?," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2005-18, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
  3. Wusheng Yu & Trine Vig Jensen, 2005. "Tariff Preferences, WTO Negotiations and the LDCs: The Case of the 'Everything But Arms' Initiative," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 375-405, 03.
  4. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "African Migration to Europe:Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions," MPRA Paper 3360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. John Baffes, 2005. "The "Cotton Problem"," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 109-144.
  6. Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike, 2008. "Do the Asian Drivers Undermine Export-oriented Industrialization in SSA," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 254-273, February.
  7. Axel Borrmann & Matthias Busse, 2007. "The Institutional Challenge of the ACP/EU Economic Partnership Agreements," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(4), pages 403-416, 07.
  8. Kohnert, Dirk, 2005. "Die UEMOA und die CFA-Zone: Eine neue Kooperations-Kultur im frankophonen Afrika?
    [The WEAMU and the Franc CFA-Zone: A new culture of co-operation within Francophone Africa?]
    ," MPRA Paper 5436, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Borrmann, Axel & Busse, Matthias & de la Rocha, Manuel, 2007. "Consequences of economic: Partnership agreements between East and Southern African countries and the EU for inter- and intra-regional integration," HWWI Research Papers 2-8, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  10. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  11. Helmut Reisen & Sokhna Ndoye, 2008. "Prudent versus Imprudent Lending to Africa: From debt relief to emerging lenders," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 268, OECD Publishing.
  12. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:6:y:2007:i:1:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2008. "Ausgrenzung und Entfremdung statt Integration: Afrikas Neuer Nationalismus in Zeiten der Globalisierung
    [Exclusion and alienation instead of inclusion: Africa's new Nationalism in times of globaliz
    ," MPRA Paper 10529, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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