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Representation and reform

by Ueli Staeger

Inside Africa’s pursuit of a stronger global voice

Africa has significantly gained importance as a player in the global arena. Meanwhile, African political leaders are grappling with diverging ideas about how this growing importance can translate into actual influence. The author Ueli Staeger examines the different approaches that are being pursued and takes a closer look at the role of the African Union in this regard.

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Adequately representing the African continent’s demographic and political relevance has become a priority shared by Africa and its partners. African states and the African Union increasingly seek to join and shape multilateral forums, balancing visibility and trust-building with strategic lobbying and policy influence, in a complex context of geopolitical shifts and regional consensus-building challenges. Distinguishing between representation and reform as two distinct varieties of African agency, this study unpacks the challenges of exercising African agency at the G20 and in the effort to reform the UN Security Council. These case studies also illustrate that African agency might be a continental aspiration, but can be exercised also at national level and without collective action. Unpacking African agency is crucial for understanding Africa’s evolution of foreign policy, and to adapt partners’ strategies at the AU.

Read the full-length publication "Representation and reform: Inside Africa’s pursuit of a stronger global voice"here as PDF.

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Mathias Kamp

Mathias Kamp bild

Policy Advisor for East Africa and Multilateral Issues Sub-Saharan Africa +49 30 26996 -3426


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