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EFRO - External Funding of Regional Organisations in Africa

Research project
Active research
Project period
2016 - 2021
Project owner
School of Global Studies

Short description

There is a near absence of research on the enormous increase of foreign aid to regional organizations in Africa during the last 15 years. The scholarly community has simply failed to address the question of why some regional organizations receive more aid than they can cope with, whereas other organizations receive next to nothing. A unique database and the comparative design allows for both cross-case and within-case analyses across different donors, recipient organizations, and policy fields.

Background and research aims

While there is a growing literature on a select number of external actors in regionalism in Africa more broadly, there is almost a complete neglect of the enormous increase of foreign funding of regional organizations in Africa during the last 15 years. 

The research project focuses specifically on explaining the significant variation among different donors, why some regional organizations receive a great deal of external funding whereas others receive next to nothing, and on the development effects of ‘regional’ aid.

One of the methodological strengths of the project is its comparative design, which allows for both cross-case and within-case analyses across:

  • different policy fields: trade, security, infrastructure, and water management;
  • different donors: especially Western donors, such as the EU, Germany, Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA;
  • and different recipient organizations: such as AU, SADC, ECOWAS, EAC, IGAD, COMESA.

 
 

Figure: External funding of regional projects and organizations in Africa, 2002-2016 (cumulative disbursement in USD million).
Figure: External funding of regional projects and organizations in Africa, 2002-2016 (cumulative disbursement in USD million).