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New scenarios enrich the traditional models of regional economic integration in Africa

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the newly-formed Alliance of Sahel States (ALS) recently met on November 30 and 1th December 2023 in Bamako, Burkina Faso, and proposed the establishment of a Confederation between Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger with the creation of a roadmap for the establishment of a monetary union with the adoption of a new currency to replace the CFA franc. The ALS (in French: Alliance des États du Sahel, AES) is a mutual defense pact created by the three States on 16 September 2023 following their suspension from ECOWAS, as a reaction to the threats from this Regional Economic Community to intervene militarily to restore the civilian rule after the coup in Niger of 26 July 2023.

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EU Commission report on the implementation and enforcement of the EU Trade Policy: can lessons be drawn for Africa?

The report of the EU Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the Implementation and Enforcement of EU Trade Policy gives an overview of the trade policy of the EU towards third countries and territories, including developing countries. It is interesting to analyse the general lines of the document to learn lessons that can be useful for shaping the trade policy of other regional and sub-regional actors in Africa.

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Somalia finally joins the EAC

It was in the air. Already during the Africa Investment Forum, held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 8 to 10 November 2023, some rumors were circulating that Somalia was likely to be admitted to the EAC by the end of November 2023. Today, during the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of States held in Arusha, Tanzania, following the discussion of the report on the negotiations for the admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the EAC, the country has been officially admitted to the East African bloc becoming the 8th member of this Community.

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Road infrastructure, transport and logistics are AfCFTA enablers, AfDB warns

A new report published by the African Development Bank (AfDB) raises the need to upscale investment in road infrastructure to unlock cross-border trade and reap the benefits of the AfCFTA. While roads are the primary mode of transport, the report notes (as they carry 80 percent of goods and 90 percent of passenger traffic), only 43 percent of the African population has access to an all-season roads. Moreover, only 53 percent of roads on the continent are paved, isolating people from access to basic social services including healthcare, education, trade hubs and economic opportunities. Africa is the less connected continent in the world (for the coverage of its infrastructure network, see the Africa Development Corridor Database). This leads to increased transaction costs and low level of Intra-Africa trade, estimated at less than 20% according to several sources and at 18% by the AfDB in its report.

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Time to reframe the relations EU - Sub-Saharan Africa: Post-Cotonou Agreement finally signed

On 15 November 2023, the European Union (EU) and its Member States, on one side, and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) on the other, have signed the much-awaited Post-Cotonou Agreement, also known as Samoa Agreement, by the name of the country where the Agreement was concluded. The Post-Cotonou Agreement is a comprehensive framework agreement that will govern the future relations between the EU and OACPS for the next twenty years. The OACPS is a regional group established in 1975 with the Georgetown Agreement (revised in 2019). It comprises 79 Member States from three different geographical areas (Africa, Carribean and Pacific) which previously formed the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries. For Africa, its members include 48 African countries, and more precisely all Sub-Saharan countries except South Sudan, while South Africa one year ago announced its intentions to leave the group, a decision that so far has not yet materialised. The five North African countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt) are also not part of this organization. The ACP group became the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, or OACPS in April 2020. The post-Cotonou Agreement will replace the Cotonou Agreement, set to expire already in February 2020, but de facto extended until its replacement with the new Agreement.

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