Brussels, Belgium—The European Union must revise its African foreign, security, and financial aid policy.
The European Court of Auditors (COA), an official body that monitors EU public spending, has just released an investigation of EU’s policies and initiatives in Africa.
The COA has concluded that the Commission, the EU’s executive branch, and the European External Action Service (EAS), the EU’s diplomatic branch, must revise their previous approach regarding Africa. It has recommended that the African Union (AU), an organization that attempts to coordinate and enhance African policies, assumes leadership of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
The APSA is a policy making body with three main aims: conflict prevention, conflict management, and peacekeeping. It was established in response to the Rwandan massacre (1994), and as a result of the ongoing Somali Civil War (where the infamous Black Hawk Down battle occurred). APSA has long been dependent on foreign aid to function. Foreign powers such as the EU, U.S., and China have been paying the bill for decades (dependence on foreign capital has fluctuated from 50%-95% of its budget).
“EU support for APSA had long been focused on contributing to its basic operational costs. Its financing instruments were not always used coherently,” said a COA spokesperson.
The COA also delineated the importance to “refocus EU support away from supporting operational costs towards capacity-building measures.” This recommendation goes back to the old proverb of “give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat forever.”