Effective government relations in South and Southern Africa

21 February 2013



South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch 


   invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by

Mr Geert Laporte



“How to revitalise Africa-AU relations in the run-up to the 2014 EU-Africa Summit?”


The Mountain Club of SA, 97 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town
on Thursday 21st February 2013 at 5:00 for 5:30 pm

Light refreshments will be served before the event 

The fourth Africa-EU Summit will be held in mid-2014 in Brussels. Since the adoption of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) in 2007 there have been dramatic changes that have taken place in the global political and economic landscape. 

On the one side many African countries are experiencing spectacular economic growth. Yet this has also a downside with high (youth) unemployment, rising inequalities, persisting poverty and political instability in various parts of Africa. With the election in July 2012 of Ms. Dlamini-Zuma as new Chairperson of the African Union Commission, it is likely that there will be a more assertive African leadership at global level and in the relationship with Europe.

On the other side of the spectrum, the EU is struggling with a serious economic and financial crisis. In spite of the recent Nobel Prize for Peace and the promising Lisbon Treaty with an increasing role of the new European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU seems to be confronted with a major credibility crisis. This also affects the role of the EU in Africa. Part of the increasingly critical attitude towards the EU is caused by the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) which have been dragging on for a decade with little or no result. 

In his presentation Geert Laporte will focus on what could be done to revive the EU-Africa partnership and how the next EU-Africa Summit could make a new start for a different type of strategic partnership between both continents.

Geert Laporte, a Belgian national, is Deputy Director at European Centre for Development Policy Management since 1990.   Currently he is responsible for ECDPM’s relations with the EU institutions, EU Presidencies, EU member states, and with the African Union in Addis Ababa, the ACP institutions in Brussels and with a large network of partners of the Centre in different parts of the world.  His thematic areas of specialisation include EU external action and development policy in the context of the EU Lisbon Treaty, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and the Joint Africa-EU Strategy with a particular focus on governance, political cooperation and regional integration. Prior to joining ECDPM he has worked in the 1980s for several years as a research fellow and later as an assistant at the Centre for Third World Studies at the University of Ghent in Belgium, where he mainly worked on the management of development aid in Latin America. Geert Laporte holds a Master in Contemporary History and a Master in Development Cooperation with specialisation in Public Administration from the University of Ghent.

Entrance for non-members is R30 or R15 on presentation of a current student identity card.

 Parking is freely available on Hatfield Street.

Register here  


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