×
ACRE

The EU summit on Africa is missing the obvious

17 May 2017

The Foreign Affairs Council has been discussing EU-African relations, but it is missing an obvious policy change.

In the Foreign Affairs Council held yesterday, the African Union Commission Chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat was in attendance to discuss EU AU relations. The Horn of Africa was discussed because of ongoing humanitarian efforts to assist this drought-stricken area of Africa. In addition, High Representative, Federica Mogherini preceded the Council by stating that the EU is “moving from the traditional purely aid centered approach to Africa to a real partnership on all fields from climate change to security, economic development, migration and obviously humanitarian support.”

During a press statement Mogherini continued to point out that the EU and AU will be working to fight terrorism together through prevention of radicalization which will prevent threats both in Africa and Europe. They also made plans to improve security on crises, economic digitalization and the role of women in African society. Preparations were also discussed for the EU African Summit to be held in November to work on creating jobs and opportunities for youth in Africa. Even though Mogherini stated that plans to improve the economy in Africa were discussed, clarity was left wanting.

EU policy can often hurt the African economy by discouraging innovation. High tariffs on processed food products for example, discourage technological innovation to process crops in Africa before exporting. EU 'biosafety' policies also discourage African countries from developing biotechnologies to meet their own agricultural needs and feed their own populations. Agriculture is just one of the numerous industries where EU trade barriers belie any supposed 'partnership', damaging African industries with one hand while offering friendship with the other. A better policy, pursuing freer trade with Africa, would boost employment and prosperity, and likely reduce radicalisation, disease and emigration from Africa. Such should be a no-brainer.

Conservatives International, sponsored by ACRE, will be holding a major trade conference in Kampala, Uganda from July 13-15.