Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa Engagement

Image: Getty, Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg

Almost 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and more than a decade into EU membership, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is moving past its thorough transition period and European integration process, seeking to re-establish relations with the rest of the world.

In recent years, the relationship between CEE and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has started to draw foreign policy and commercial attention. The number of CEE embassies and trade houses is increasing on the continent, trade volumes are growing, and development relations are emerging. What will come next for CEE-SSA engagement and how will this impact the broader EU policy towards the continent?

At this closed experts’ roundtable, participants will discuss the prospects for and impacts of enhanced engagement between CEE and Sub-Saharan African states. The focus for this discussion will centre around the role of private investments between the two regions in furthering bilateral relations, fostering development and contributing to institution-building, the role of the European External Investment Plan, and where such investments fit into post-Cotonou EU-Africa relations.

This meeting will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

This roundtable is part of the research process: please come ready for open discussion, brainstorming and exchange.

Programme:

Registration and coffee
10:15 – 10:30

Welcome and introductions
10:30 – 10:40
Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Chief Executive, SAIIA

CEE-Africa Engagement: What Role for Private Investment?
10:40 – 12:30
Speaker: Damir Kurtagic, Academy Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House

Close of roundtable and light lunch
12:30 – 13:00

Damir Kurtagic will present initial thoughts and findings from his research for discussion with roundtable participants. Discussions will inform the drafting of a Chatham House research paper which will be published later this year. Damir is providing regular analysis on how the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe can be used to further engagement with sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on the new European Investment Plan. Before joining Chatham House, Damir worked with UNDP in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and UNIDO HQ in Vienna on issues of regional and rural developments, as well as private-private partnerships in development. He also worked in Brussels for organised business groups at the EESC and on a EU Commission-funded development project.

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