Governance and relations between the European Union and Africa: The case of NEPAD

Ian Taylor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was launched in 2001 as the pre-eminent vehicle to promote Africa's recovery. Initially it was enthusiastically promoted by a select number of countries in Africa, as well as by key members within the G-8. The European Union was active in its support, particularly vis-à-vis governance issues, stating that the EU 'finds that Africa's development efforts are best served by a greatly sharpened focus on NEPAD as the basis for partnership between Africa and the international community'. However, there have been significant problems facing NEPAD. These revolve around the actual extant political economy and dominant political cultures across Africa, which the technocratic neoliberal agenda of 'good governance' cannot deal with. Furthermore, the rise of Chinese engagement with Africa adds a major difficulty to Brussels' claim to be a key engine in supporting NEPAD's goals regarding governance and development. Indeed, the emergence of Chinese actors in Africa threatens to make much of the EU's policies on governance largely irrelevant, although it is acknowledged that, in the long term, Beijing's policy interests are not served by chaotically ruled states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


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