Africa's Change Dynamics


Click here for a detailed report of our programme activities in 2012.

fatan aggad 2013 africa dynamic
The challenge

In Africa, as elsewhere in the world, public institutions are struggling to translate societal demands for change into concrete programmes that foster democracy, human rights and inclusive development. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in North Africa where the initial enthusiasm that accompanied the Arab Spring revolutions was soon eclipsed by the realisation that building stable democracies would be a long and complex transition. In sub-Saharan Africa, efforts to address this “governance gap” are increasingly focused on developing strategies to promote governance. However this is easier said than done. 

ECDPM’s role

The Africa Change Dynamics Programme supports promising African-driven initiatives, especially in the area of governance for development. Our aim is to encourage key African institutional and non-institutional actors to “own the policy space” and ensure that governance reform is driven by African realities and priorities. Our work is organised around three interrelated pillars, namely: supporting African institutional actors to implement their policy agendas; contributing to improved understanding of local governance dynamics in sub-Saharan
Africa and North Africa; and facilitating dialogue between African and the EU policy actors to ensure coherence in their approach to governance reform.

Key partners

In 2012, we continued to collaborate with key African institutional actors as well as research and non-governmental networks working on African development policy. In Africa, we intensified our partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) headquartered in Ethiopia, as well as with the AUC delegation to the European Union. Other institutional partners were the New Partnership for Africa’s Development - Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), African Development Bank and the Pan-African Parliament. Key non-institutional partners were the Dakar-based African Governance Institute, the South African Institute for Security Studies, the Arab NGO Network and International IDEA. Within the EU we continued to work closely with the European Commission, European External Action Service, various European Member states and the European Parliament 


Highlights of our activities in 2012

  • We continued to work closely with African institutions involved in operationalising the new African Governance Architecture,
  • We launched a new work stream looking at the political economy of political reforms in North Africa and the role of EU in the region 
  • Our work on Policy Coherence for Development highlighted 
  • growing concerns about the impact of EU policies on food security and underscored the need for continuous monitoring of EU policies and actions. 
  • Building on our close relationship with EU and African partners we facilitated informal linkages to bridge different streams of debate on the future of the Joint Africa EU Strategy.

Click here for a detailed report of our programme activities in 2012.

 Key Outputs in 2012

  • A new work stream launched by the programme looked into the political and socio-economic dynamics of political reforms in North Africa (initially focusing on Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia). As a result of this work, we were invited to participate in several discussions on the European Endowment Fund, through which the EU will support political actors in the European Neighbourhood.
  • Our involvement in an internal evaluation of the African Development Bank provided opportunity to explore ongoing efforts to build institutional capacity to deliver on governance reforms. 
  • We continued to monitor progress in regional integration, particularly efforts to mobilise domestic resources for the work of the African Union.
  • ECDPM contributed to several fora deliberating on new dynamics on the African continent. These included the Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual gathering on youth and development in Africa and a conference on governance trends in Africa organised by the AU Commission and Africa Governance Institute.
  • Building on our close relationships in the EU and Africa, we facilitated informal linkages to bring together the various streams of debate on the future of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and on the Pan-African Programme as a dedicated financial instrument for the strategy.