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Africa-Europe relations: Towards a different future for the two neighbours?


Jul 13, 2017

As African and European leaders plan to meet in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, late November 2017 to assess the status of the Africa-Europe partnership, Pambazuka News is calling for a broad range of papers analysing, from various perspectives, relations between Africa and Europe and how they might evolve in the coming decades.

Africa and Europe are traditional neighbours. People from these two continents have been interacting for at least the past 500 years through various forms including the slave trade, missionary work, colonisation and recent flows of both Africans and Europeans moving from and going to each direction for work, education and settlement among many other reasons. The interactions between Africa and Europe have not been always peaceful and cordial. In fact, the last 500 years have been characterised by the desire for Europe to conqueror, dominate and take over resources of Africa as part of their (Europe) quest for global domination.

After the African independence in the 1960s and in the second decade of the 21st century, Europe still has that desire of conquering and dominating Africa through culture, language, religion, political and financial systems and through technology among many other means. There is no doubt that Africa is yet again at the receiving end of the Europe-Africa “partnership”. From defining and limiting the number of individuals who can ever set foot on European soil to defining and imposing political models for managing African countries, Europe seems determined to maintain the way the Africa-Europe “partnership” is currently structured.

But, is that structure where one partner is always at the receiving end of the terms of the partnership sustainable? How can Africa learn from the sad events of the last 500 years to change the course of this traditional partnership between Africa and Europe? Does Africa, in reality, need to partner with Europe for her prosperity? What would be an ideal scenario of Africa-Europe relations? The proposed special issue of Pambazuka News seeks to discuss these and other questions that many Africans ask themselves about the current status of the relations between Africa and Europe.

The objectives of the proposed special issue are:

  1. to assess the current relations between Africa and Europe from various perspectives;
  2. to propose what Africa could do to stop being at the receiving end of Africa-Europe relations;
  3.  to devise ways in which events that took place over the last 500 years in the Africa-Europe can help Africa to adequately plan for future partnerships with the rest of the world.


Pambazuka News welcomes a broad array of articles on the theme of “Africa-Europe relations” including scholarly papers, commentaries, opinion pieces, comparative analyses and poems among others. Sub-themes to consider (but not limited) are:

·        setting the agenda of Africa-Europe relations;

·        reparation of historical injustices;

·        repatriation of African stolen wealth;

·        mutual respect in the Africa-Europe partnership;

·        mobility and employment;

·        joint initiatives on peace and security;

·        leveraging on the expertise of the African diaspora;

·        partnering on tackling global challenges including climate change and hunger;

·        working on prosperity of Africa to maintain European prosperity;

·        depoliticising the issue of migration and movement of people;

·        mutual understanding of issues of governance and national sovereignty.

Submission guidelines

Word limit: Articles should be not more than 3,000 words long, although we will accept longer articles if subject treatment requires it.

Authors should list references including endnotes fully at the end of their articles. Kindly use the Harvard referencing style. 

Each article should end with a 150-word biography of the author including their email address.

Articles should be submitted as a Word document attachment.

Relevant images to illustrate an article may be sent as jpeg attachments. Any other graphics may be placed within the relevant sections of the article with captions (and credits/permissions).

Deadline and publication date

The deadline for submission of articles is Friday, 29 September 2017. All articles should be submitted to

Publication date is Thursday, 23 November 2017.

Guest editor

The Guest Editor for this proposed special issue of Pambazuka News is Professor Adebayo Olukoshi. Prof. Olukoshi is a Nigerian scholar with more than 35 years of experience in international relations, governance and human rights, both in the academic sector and in intergovernmental institutions. Prof. Olukoshi was a member of the African Union Assessment Panel and Chair of the Board of several think tanks and organisations including the European Centre for Development Policy Management and Open Society Initiative for West Africa. He also previously served as Director of the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, as Executive Director of the Africa Governance Institute, Executive Secretary of the Council for Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs; Senior Research Fellow/Research Programme Coordinator of the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, and Senior Programme Staff at the South Centre in Geneva.


On the 49th Parallel          

                 Thé Mulindwas Communication Group
"With Yoweri Museveni, Ssabassajja and Dr. Kiiza Besigye, Uganda is in anarchy"
Kuungana Mulindwa Mawasiliano Kikundi
"Pamoja na Yoweri Museveni, Ssabassajja na Dk. Kiiza Besigye, Uganda ni katika machafuko"


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