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  • The European Union’s Social and Institutional Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa

    02/06/2020

    International Lobbying in Africa and the Historic Relationship with Europe

     

    Europe has a long history with the African continent, with regards to colonization and imperialism. This history has changed the functions of government, resources, cultural identities, and relationships within the massive continent, both in the Maghreb region and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

     

    To this day, Europe has still not let go of its African colonies on a social level, as the United Kingdom and continental Western Europe still has a hand in much of the resources within their former colonies. However, in recent years, the goal has been to focus on both political capital and diplomatic energy.

     

    The Political Science behind Lobbying, Business Opportunities, and the Economy

     

    While all of Western Europe has had a great political impact in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Kingdom and France have had an exceptional amount of leverage within the continent because of the number of colonies it once held. Although Africa remains one of the poorest continents in the world, there are a lot of booming economies that have offered opportunities for France with regards to looking for potential trading partners.

     

    In order for countries like France to continue trading with Africa, it is necessary that Africa remains stable in terms of security and counterterrorism practices. The French president, Macron, made it clear that African youth is a priority, pertaining to female education as well as entrepreneurship and mobility. Ultimately the private sector and innovation will allow for more job mobility within the African continent, which will create more opportunities for trade with Europe, resulting in greater stimulation of the economy for both regions.

     

    Lobbying does not only have to be inclusive of self-interest or youth involvement, but rather an overall look at sustainable energy, the digital economy, agriculture, agribusiness, and finance. All of these categories intersect with one another because of the end goal of investing in sectors of the economy to create more decentralized energy production and business environments that cater to large monetary-based energy infrastructure projects.

     

    Private Diplomacy and Political Business Endeavours

     

    Many African countries have been reaching out to European consultancies in recent years, seeking help related to presidential and general political campaigns. In both the Maghreb as well as sub-Saharan Africa, such as Nigeria, Egypt, and Morocco, money has been invested, reaching up to 10 million US dollars on active lobbyists as well as law firms and public relations companies, in order to seek attention from European media and governments.

     

    Lobbying actions do not only occur in a business negotiation social setting amongst entrepreneurs and politicians, but also amongst missionary groups and NGOs.

     

    The Significance of Terrorism in the African Continent and European Intervention

     

    France has had a special relationship with the African continent regarding security and counterterrorism activity, because of their support of the G5 political group consisting of Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa, all believed to be countries with growing economies, therefore holding a powerful position in the world of geopolitics and economics.

     

    France has also assisted in creating programs dedicated to peacekeeping and security strategies in Africa, as these activities also help to sustain peace in France. This is not only done by offering ideas and resources to various African countries, but by also training citizens from Francophone African countries in areas ranging from maritime piracy to cybersecurity.

     

    The Future of Africa and Europe’s Relationship

     

    Ultimately, there needs to be a new agreement between Africa and Europe, as Africa needs solutions that are not influenced by Western ideologies. There are also demands and goals for job opportunities for young people, investment in entrepreneurship, discontinuation of exploitation within the continent, creation of a cohesive political environment that can be developed and consistent, reform partnerships, creation of global structures and institutions, promotion of private investment, as well as an understanding of African feminism, to uplift all citizens so that the agreements and ideologies can be executed.

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