Africa and Europe: a Shared Future

by Alberto Majocchi (Volume editor)
©2020 Edited Collection 128 Pages
Series: Federalism, Volume 13


The contributions collected in this volume are linked by a common thread: the development of Africa is a problem that must be faced and solved by the peoples of the continent, with the aim of consolidating democracy and guaranteeing a future of growth and progressive improvement in the quality of life. However, Europe has a role and a responsibility in this process: after having imposed on Africa the model of the bureaucratic and centralized national state, Europe today can represent a model of integration, on the economic field and, in perspective, on the political terrain. Beyond this, Europe must offer a partnership with the African Union to start a Green New Deal for Europe and Africa together, with the allocation of financial resources, but also technology transfers and infrastructure creation. But in this partnership for growth the initiative must be entrusted to African countries, as was the case for Europe in the case of the Marshall Plan. Europe must impose as a sole condition that their plan be drawn up in common and placed in the perspective of strengthening the process of economic and political integration already started on the Continent.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword (Romano Prodi)
  • Introduction (Alberto Majocchi)
  • Africa in a Changing International Scenario (Paolo Sannella)
  • The Interplay between the Regional and Sub-regional Dimensions of African Regionalism: A Historical Perspective (Giovanni Finizio)
  • African Continental Free Trade Area: Opportunities and Challenges (Andrea Cofelice)
  • A Green New Deal for Europe and Africa (Alberto Majocchi)
  • The New Africa-Europe Alliance (Olimpia Fontana)
  • Monetary Aspects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Elena Flor)
  • Annex
  • Contributors
  • Federalism
  • Editorial Board
  • Series index


Romano Prodi

The analysis offered in this collection of essays does not focus on Africa’s tragedies and challenges; rather it outlines a possible strategy for its future. This approach is what makes this short book original and its analysis distinctive. Of all the changes in the African scenario, with respect to the rest of the world, this book focusses on Africa’s political, institutional and economic characteristics in order to point out its opportunities. There is no complaint or despair in it; this series of essays by different authors offers instead a lucid, realistic analysis of the future possibilities of the African continent.

The first challenge concerns Africa’s opportunity to exploit its great potential, which would truly make it a continent whose unity, while certainly based on its sub-regional dimensions, is however capable of expressing a common strategy. In order to do this its sub-regional dimensions must be strengthened, but without neglecting the creation of a network between them. This is no easy task because it requires intense institutional work. Agreements aimed at creating a single market for the entire African continent have now taken a big step forward in this direction. These agreements – totally impossible until a few years ago – have in fact led to the Treaty establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), which entered into force in 2019. However, this important result is clearly not enough: in fact, there cannot be an African market without building the infrastructure necessary for free trade.

Institutional progress must not be underestimated since it is an essential, indispensable prerequisite both for the creation of sufficiently large markets and for the development of economies of scale that will allow Africa to become a leading player, not only in the trade of raw materials, as is already the case now, but also in manufactured goods and agricultural products.

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This analysis then stresses the responsibility and role played by the European Union toward Africa, not only with regard to economics and politics, but also to the major problem of emigration. This problem does not impact on China, the other major player in economic relations with Africa: therefore this creates large imbalances when it comes to Europe’s responsibilities in relations with Africa. Against the background of the role and great synergies between China and Africa, it is right for this volume to address the need for a new alliance between Europe and China. On the other hand, hardly any reference is made to the United States, whose interest in Africa is almost exclusively part of its global and military strategy. The fact that the US is self-sufficient in energy has a surplus in agricultural production and that raw materials are widely available indeed make the relationship between the United States and Africa much more tenuous than the relationship between Africa and Europe or between Africa and China. In fact, unlike the United States, China needs to import raw materials, agricultural products and energy, not only for its development, but also for its own subsistence.

As regards relations between Africa and Europe and between Africa and China, this volume then addresses the great challenge of employment. While it is clear that building infrastructure is in fact necessary for job creation, it is also true that this is not enough.

Another very interesting issue regards the sought-after and very important economic and political relationship between Africa and Europe. It is of great interest to explore how this can be strengthened through a broad agreement to provide electricity for the indispensable economic life of the continent. In fact, not only do 300 million Africans not have access to clean water, but also more than twice as many have no access to electricity, without which there can be neither agriculture nor industry. Hence, one obvious solution is to come up with proposals and projects dedicated to creating great prospects for energy production from renewables, such as wind and mainly solar energy – potentially abundant throughout the African continent. However, triggering what we might call the “renewable energy revolution” in Africa requires a sound political strategy: strong synergies with Europe and a close relationship with Africa within a regulatory framework that, once again, expresses continental unity to the greatest extent possible. It is also clear that energy is an ideal area where China and Europe could collaborate on a major project. In theory, this could be crucial to finally implementing the Silk Road. It is ←10 | 11→equally true that there is no point in hiding the political difficulties that stand in the way of this obvious and convenient source of cooperation.

This interesting and refined synthesis on Africa offers more than just negative perspectives; it certainly shifts away from the difficult and complex reality in which Africa finds itself in order to pave the way to a possible development perspective that seems to be an opportunity that cannot be missed.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2020 (July)
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 128 pp., 4 fig. b/w

Biographical notes

Alberto Majocchi (Volume editor)

Alberto Majocchi is Emeritus Professor of Public Finance in the University of Pavia. He has been teaching in the University of Venezia-Ca’ Foscari, Varese and Castellanza and in the University of Leuven. During the years 1991-93 he has been working as a National Expert in the Environment Directorate of the European Commission in Brussels. He is now Vice-President of the Centre for Studies on Federalism (Turin) and President of Fondazione Magni for Ayamé (Ivory Coast).


Title: Africa and Europe: a Shared Future