Author: José Luis Gutiérrez Aranda

Madagascar: Challenges for an African economy

Introduction Madagascar, the forgotten country of Africa, is separated by more than 400 km from the African continent by the channel of Mozambique. Its landscape, the richness of its biodiversity, its ecosystems, its natural riches and the ethnic variety of its inhabitants attract our attention. In addition, the country has more than 4800 km of coastline which favours great fishing potential. With the current negotiation of the fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and Madagascar the income of the country is being put at risk. Although its economy expects to grow by 4% in 2017[1], its nearly 25 million...

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28th Summit of the African Union (AU)

From the 30th to 31st January 2017, the 28th summit of the AU was held in Addis Ababa which seems to be becoming the capital of Africa. This meeting was marked by several events, notably the return of Morocco to the fold. It is 33 years since Morocco slammed the door because it considered Western Sahara – or more precisely the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) – to be part of its territory. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has spared no effort in several countries to showcase his country’s skills and technical assistance to many countries. But several countries are still...

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Digitisation – a Chance for Africa

While in Africa mobile and smart phones are spreading and ingenious local adaptations are being developed, people in the industrialised nations are talking about the 4th industrial revolution, the large scale linking of digital und other systems. Where has digitisation reached in Africa? To what extent can it contribute to the economic and social development of the continent? A rapid development Nowhere has digital communication spread as fast as in Africa. Even old people and street children use mobile gadgets and in countries ravaged by wars digital communication systems have been successfully set up. The African countries with the...

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Particularities of the ECOWAS –EU Economic Partnership Agreement

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the West African region and the European Union (EU) has its legal framework in Cotonou Agreement (2000) as a continuation of the Lomé Convention (1975) and Yaoundé Convention (1963). These agreements had established the political and economic cooperation guidelines between the former European colonies (in Africa, Caribe and Pacific) and the so-called “European Economic Community”. Among the main features of these agreements were the regime of non-reciprocal preferences in the exports of the former colonies to the EU, the principle of equality between the two parties with full sovereignty and political independence, and...

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Turmoil in the EPA Negotiations

The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and African regions are not at their best right now. The EU is maintaining pressure on African countries to make progress in the EPA negotiations despite the resistance of some African governments and civil society. Discrepancies in the negotiations are leading to fragmentation among both regions and countries in Africa and this is compromising efforts towards regional integration in Africa. Whilst the signature and provisional application of the EPA between the EU and the South African Development Community[1] (SADC) was signed the 10th of June 2016 in Botswana, other regions...

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