Over the past decade or more, a number of dynamic processes have bolstered Africa’s visibility in global affairs. On the endogenous level, these include a long period of economic growth, enhanced integration on the regional and continental level and notable efforts to embrace a more assertive international posture vis-à-vis the outside world.
Externally, activism of myriad outside players, both traditional and “new” with strategic political, economic and security stakes in Africa has provided the continent a sharper international profile. Other pressing global issues such as terrorism, trade, youth and economy and spheres of interest, like the membership in the UN Security Council are increasingly relevant in and for Africa and for the engagement of external actors. Topics like global governance, climate change, universal justice, migration or demography are under constant negotiations amongst regional actors as well as between them and the outside players.
Japan’s increasing engagement in Africa is exemplified in the Tokyo International Conferences on African Development. The country is also involved in peace keeping missions in South Sudan and supports the counter-piracy operation in Djibouti. The focus of the European Union and Germany lies currently on migration and refugee movements, as well as countering extremism. Germany has placed Africa’s security and development a high priority during its presidency of the G20 in 2017.
The German presidency aims to take concrete steps to enhance sustainable economic progress in Africa.
The symposium will investigate these changing dynamics and the spheres of interactions, and look into approaches to engagement of external actors.