The financial and economic crisis and the new growth poles in the developing world - China, India and Brazil (CIB), but also Turkey and South Korea to name a few - are creating new opportunities for African countries in the relations with external partners. Making the most of the development opportunities presented by the intensifying ties with the emerging economies is a key priority for the continent in the 21st century. However, the involvement of emerging players in the continent provides fresh opportunities for Africa and its traditional partners, and notably Europe, to engage on new terms that recognise the political and economic transformation that Africa has undergone in the last two decades and consider its increasingly complex global role. In particular, Europe's response to Africa's new partnerships will determine its own relations with the continent, especially its ability to project its values and influence. On the other hand, Africa and its states have an opportunity now to evaluate the form and substance of their engagement with both developed and developing countries, identifying good practices within each and seeking to optimise these in other relations. The objective of this paper is to shed light on the new landscape, analyse the ongoing responses to it by different stakeholders, and in this context discuss the possible way forward for international partnerships and initiatives to better support African owned objectives and strategies.
ECDPM Discussion Paper 107, ECDPM, Maastricht, Netherlands, 41 pp.