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EU needs coherent approach to African development

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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

EU needs coherent approach to African development

A united Europe can have a beneficial impact on African development, writes Giles Merritt of the think tank Friends of Europe, but if things go wrong, it will suffer the impacts of African disasters. His message is: “For Europe, Africa spells trouble and opportunity.” Merritt is a former Brussels correspondent for the Financial Times and considers himself a “sceptical Europhile”. His think tank is based in Brussels. In his recent book, which has the title “Slippery slope – Europe's troubled future”, he takes stock of various major trends hat affect the EU, elaborating many issues that I do not want to tackle here. His arguments relating to Africa are of developmental relevance, however, so I'll briefly sum up his reasoning here. I plan to add another post next week concerning Merritt's assessment of Asian development and the EU. The policy wonk states that Africa is changing fast. If development works out well, Africa's agriculture will bloom and contribute to feeding the world population. Moreover, African manufacturing will expand fast thanks to a huge potential workforce. Merritt points out that Africa's population is set to double from about one billion people today to two billion people by 2050. The sheer numbers imply that cities will grow fast and that full employment will require fast economic expansion.

Source: dandc.eu