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1st December 2016-"The EU and China in Africa – Prospects for Cooperation "

28 November 2016

For participating the evnet , please send email to



1st December 2016


Renaissance Hotel

Rue du Parnasse 19

1050 Brussels 

- Ballroom -



Africa, often described as the lost continent, is rising fast despite many problems. There are 54 countries in Africa, many landlocked and very poor. There are many conflicts - Mali, Chad, South-Sudan, etc which show no sign of diminishing. Africa’s economic output is $1.6 trillion or just 2.5% of global GDP. But six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa and it is expected that its population will increase from one to two billion by 2050.

Against this background both the EU and China are seeking new strategies to deal with Africa. The influence of China is rapidly increasing. Its exports to Africa have tripled in the past decade and now account for 20% of all imports. The EU’s and China’s agenda in and for Africa have often been perceived as being at odds. The annual EU-China discussions on Africa have produced few concrete results as regards possible areas for cooperation. This is perhaps rooted in the different interests, aims and profiles of both actors. While both entities seek to promote beneficial developmental models in Africa they proceed on very different principles.

The EU, motivated by its democratic values, seeks to use conditionality to promote good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Different Member States also have historical ties to different countries reflecting their colonial past. The next EU-Africa summit is planned for November 2017 with a focus on youth, sustainable development and investment.

China, whose economic motivations are more pronounced, seeks to approach Africa by emphasising South-South solidarity and the importance of political stability rather than any normative agenda. The view from Africa suggests that the continent has benefited from and struggled with aspects of both the EU’s and China’s development strategies.

It is timely, therefore, to organise a one-day seminar at which experts can review the different interests and approaches of the EU and China in Africa with a view to assessing best practices and exploring possibilities for pragmatic cooperation.


Both the EU and China have produced strategy papers for Africa. Both have a strong focus on sustainable economic development with a view to poverty reduction. Another common theme is support for the Africa Union, especially its peacekeeping capabilities. China has an open mind on the inclusion of some African countries in its “One Belt One Road” initiative. It is also showing greater interest in conflict prevention and crisis management as its interests have been affected by conflicts in Sudan and Libya. China also participates in the EU-led anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia.

The EU’s top priority is dealing with the flow of refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the wider Middle East and Africa. This will also impact on its policy towards Africa as it seeks to ensure that there is sufficient political stability, economic and social progress to offer young Africans a reasonable prospect to build their lives at home.

Based on the interplay between development and security, the seminar will address four major themes:

a)    Cooperation Formats

b)    Trade and Investement

c)    International Migration

d)    Peacekeeping Operations.



Thursday, 01 December 2016


08:30             Registration


09:00             Welcome remarks by organisers

Mr. Fraser Cameron, Director, EU-Asia Centre, Brussels

Ms. Sabina Woelkner, Head of the Multinational Development Policy Dialogue, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Brussels


09:10             Short statements on EU, African and Chinese priorities by

Ms. Birgitte Markussen, Managing Director Africa, European External Action Service

H.E. Ajay K. Bramdeo, Ambassador of the AU to the EU

Prof. JIANG Shixue, Deputy Director of the Institute of European Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing


09:30             Panel I – Cooperation Formats


The panel reflects how do China and the EU conduct their relations with Africa in different structures such as FOCAC, JAES, ECOWAS or SADC.



Ms. Faten Aggad, Head of Programme Africa’s Change Dynamics, European Centre for Development Policy Mechanism (ECDPM), Maastricht 


Short Interventions from

Ms. Kristin de Peyron, Head of Division Pan-African Affairs, European External Action Service

Dr. ZENG Aiping, Assistant Research Fellow at China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) and deputy executive director of China-Asian African Cooperation Centre

Dr. Anna Stahl, Research Fellow, EU-China Research Centre, Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies, College of Europe, Bruges

Dr. Claude Kabemba, Executive Director, Southern Africa Resource Watch


10:15             Discussion


10:45             Coffee break


11:15             Panel II – Trade and Investment


The panel reflects the implications of CAP in the context of sustainable development and discusses the role of the Agenda 2063 as well as the idea of an EU-Africa Free Trade Agreement. 



Dr. GU, Jing, Director, Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton


Short Interventions from

Prof. JIANG Shixue, Deputy Director of the Institute of European Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing

Ms. Hanna Deringer, Policy Analyst, European Centre for International Political Economy

Ms. Yentyl Williams, EU-ACP Trade Researcher, University of Gent and Founder of the ACP Young Professionals Network


12:15             Discussion


12:45             Lunch


14:15             Panel III – International Migration


The panel reflects the implications of demographic trends in Africa for migration flows  and discusses the challenges in promoting sustainable development and employment in this regard.



Mr. Fraser Cameron, Director, EU-Asia Centre


Short Interventions from


Mr. Abdel Rahmane Diop, Head of Office, Country Office of Burkina Faso, International Organization for Migration    

Prof. ZHOU Yuyuan, Senior Fellow, Center for West Asian and African Studies, Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS), Shanghai

Mr. Samuel Simon (tbc), Regional Policy and Programme Analyst, International Organisation for Migration, Brussels office

Dr. LI Wentao, Deputy Director of African Studies, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR)


15:15             Discussion


15:45             Coffee break


16:15                         Panel IV – Peacekeeping Missions


The panel focuses on peacebuilding capabilities and missions of the African Union as well as on the growing Chinese involvment in peacekeeping and conflict prevention on the African continent.



Ms. Andrea Ostheimer de Sosa, Head of Department for Sub-Saharan Africa of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin and Co-Chair of the Working Group Africa-EU Relations at the European Network of Political Foundations, Brussels


Short Interventions from

Dr. Thierry Tardy, Senior Analyst, EU Institute for Security Studies, Paris 

Mr. Paul Melly, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House, London

Prof. HE Wenping, Director, Division of African Studies, Institute of West Asia and Africa Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing

Mr. Frédéric Maduraud, Deputy Director, Crisis Management and Planning, European External Action Service

Dr. Festus Aubyn, Research Fellow, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana


17:15             Discussion    


17:45             Summary and closing remarks