An important event at the EUI called the FSR Global Forum took place in March 2019, where several topic sessions were focused on Africa. The School signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Ocean Commission to work with energy sector personnel from the islands of Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and the Seychelles, that started to be effective as of November 2017.
The MEDirections Programme has worked in several research projects focusing on North Africa. It is currently conducting research on EU and the growing activism of rising powers in North Africa in the framework of the Horizon2020-funded EU-LISTCO project. In particular research on Libya has been ongoing since 2014. It has focused on processes of mediation and reconciliation, the political economy of conflicts, political and security dynamics in Libya, as well as their impact on Libya’s neighborhood (essentially Tunisia and the Sahel). The Programme also hosts a small mentorship programme for junior Libyan analysts based in Libya. Funding for these projects has come from EU-funded projects such as MENARA (Horizon2020), the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the German Federal Foreign Office.
MEDirections has also started working with Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) on a new joint research agenda focusing on transnational governance in East Africa. It will study governance transformations in the region, with a specific focus on migration/mobility and climate change/resource management. It will produce policy-relevant knowledge to policy-makers in Europe and Italy, and partners in the region will involve research institutions in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Within the Global Governance Programme we are currently hosting PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins), a research project which aims to learn from the ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty, applying such ‘lessons from the margins’ to global challenges. The aim is to foster a conversation with other policy domains where uncertainty is pervasive, including financial and commodity systems, critical infrastructure management, disease outbreak response, migration policy, climate change and conflict and security governance. The project focuses on six case studies in different continents, including three cases in Africa, Quinghai, China (Sichuan and Quinghai) and Sardinia, Italy.The project is funded by an ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant co-hosted with the ESRC STEPS Centre at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Forthcoming fieldwork activities in Africa are ongoing with local researchers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Tunisia and local research agencies such as the University of Sousse in Tunisia and the Department of Social Sciences at the Technical University of Mombasa.
Another important area of work within the Global Governance Programme on Africa is linked to Jean Monnet Fellow Nick Dines’ research on diversity politics, international migration and urban development in African cities, with a particular focus on Rabat, Morocco and Cape Town, South Africa. This research has been conducted as part of the ‘Global Cities in Asia and Africa: Urban Configurations of (Trans)nationalism’ in the Cultural Pluralism Research Area of the Global Governance Programme.
The African agenda of the Global Economics research area in the same programme covers a broad set of topics: international trade, trade policy reform, trade in services, regional integration, economic development, and Sustainable Development Goals. The team in Global Economics works on independent research tracks as well as on policy-oriented projects commissioned by leading international organisations including the International Trade Centre, UNCTAD, and the World Trade Organisation as well as institutions in the African continent such as the African Economic Research Consortium. Current flagship projects include the study of trade and infrastructural reforms in Ethiopia and the works on the Africa-EU trade and economic relationships.