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Policy Contribution

Electrifying Africa: how to make Europe’s contribution count

Electrification is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. Europe has created a myriad of fragmented initiatives to promote electrification in sub-Saharan Africa, limiting their efficacy. This sub-optimal situation should be changed by coordinating the initiatives of European institutions and EU countries through a unique platform: the EU Electrify Africa Hotspot.

By: Date: June 8, 2017 Topic: Energy & Climate

Electrification is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. Less than a third of the sub-Saharan population has access to electricity, and around 600,000 premature deaths are caused each year by household air pollution resulting from the use of polluting fuels for cooking and lighting.

Solving this issue is a fundamental prerequisite for unleashing sub-Saharan Africa’s economic potential. Given the magnitude of the challenge, only a joint effort involving sub-Saharan African countries and international public and private parties would pave the way to a solution.

Sub-Saharan African countries should be the first to move. They should reform the governance of their energy sectors, in particular by reforming their generally inefficient state-owned electricity utilities, and by phasing-out market-distorting energy subsidies. Without such reforms, international investment will never scale-up across sub-Saharan Africa.

International public and private parties must play a key role in facilitating sub-Saharan Africa’s energy transformation, particularly the electrification of rural areas, where three-fifths of the sub-Saharan African population lives. International public support is particularly important to crowd-in international private investors, most notably through innovative public-private partnerships.

China and the United States are already engaged in electrification in sub-Saharan Africa. China has substantially invested in large-scale electricity projects, while the US has put in place a comprehensive initiative – Power Africa – to scale-up electrification, particularly in rural areas, through public-private partnerships.

Europe has, instead, created a myriad of fragmented initiatives to promote electrification in sub-Saharan Africa, limiting their potential leverage in crowding-in private investment and in stimulating energy sector reforms in sub-Saharan African countries. This sub-optimal situation should be changed by coordinating the initiatives of European institutions and EU countries through a unique platform. We propose such a platform: the EU Electrify Africa Hotspot.

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Blog Post

The EU’s poverty reduction efforts should not aim at the wrong target

The EU cannot meet its ‘poverty’ targets, because the main indicator used to measure poverty actually measures income inequality. The use of the wrong indicator could lead to a failure to monitor those who are really poor in Europe, and a risk they could be forgotten.

By: Zsolt Darvas Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: February 18, 2020
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Policy Contribution

FDI another day: Russian reliance on European investment

Most foreign direct investment into Russia originates in the European Union: European investors own between 55 percent and 75 percent of Russian FDI stock. This points to a Russian dependence on European investment, making the EU paramount for Russian medium-term growth. Even if we consider ‘phantom’ FDI that transits through Europe, the EU remains the primary investor in Russia. Most phantom FDI into Russia is believed to originate from Russia itself and thus is by construction not foreign.

By: Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Niclas Poitiers Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: February 17, 2020
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Opinion

Berlin will make or break the European Green Deal

€1 trillion isn't enough for the European Green Deal and the EU's fiscal framework is constraining public investment. "Mrs Merkel, tear down this rule".

By: Grégory Claeys and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: February 3, 2020
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Policy Contribution

Market versus policy Europeanisation: has an imbalance grown over time?

This Policy Contribution tests the hypothesis that an imbalance has grown in Europe over the last few decades because markets have integrated to a greater extent than European-level policymaking, potentially creating difficulties for the democratic process in managing the economy. This hypothesis has been put forward by several authors but not so far tested empirically.

By: Leonardo Cadamuro and Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 9, 2020
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Opinion

The Green Deal is not just one of many EU projects, it is the new defining mission

The EU has already invested so much of its political capital into the green transition that a failure to deliver would severely damage its legitimacy.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Energy & Climate Date: January 3, 2020
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Policy Contribution

The European Union-Russia-China energy triangle

Concern is growing in the European Union that a rapprochement between Russia and China could have negative implications for the EU.

By: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: December 9, 2019
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Working Paper

The state of China-European Union economic relations

More can be done to capture the untapped trade and investment opportunities that exist between China and the EU. China’s size and dynamism, and its recent shift from an export-led to a domestic demand-led growth model, mean that these opportunities are likely to grow with time.

By: Uri Dadush, Marta Domínguez-Jiménez and Tianlang Gao Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: November 20, 2019
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Opinion

Politics, not policy will help Lagarde save the eurozone

Her success at helm of Europe’s central bank will depend on her ability to mend fences with hawkish policymakers.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 4, 2019
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Blog Post

Talking about Europe: La Stampa 1940s-2010s

An on-going research project at Bruegel seeks to quantify and analyse printed media discourses about Europe over the decades since the end of the Second World War. In this third blogpost, we carry out the exercise on 9.9 million articles from an Italian daily newspaper, La Stampa. The trend increase in the frequency of European related articles, previously found looking at the French and German press, is confirmed in the case of Italy.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 22, 2019
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Past Event

Past Event

COP 21 RIPPLES: What are the key elements of an adequate global response?

The Dialogue focuses on technology, finance, industrial transformations and the political economy, which are identified by COP21 RIPPLES as key leverage points for triggering transformation.

Speakers: Michel Colombier, Marta Torres-Gunfaus, Henri Waisman and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 22, 2019
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Working Paper

EU trade policy amid the China-US clash: caught in the crossfire?

What risks face the EU with regard to China’s strategic aims in trade policy and how can the EU respond? The US effort to isolate China poses particular risks for Europe. How can the EU counter such efforts with the aim of forging its own distinct trade policy? How should the EU move forward with reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in light of differing demands and aims of trading blocs like China and the US?

By: Anabel González and Nicolas Véron Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: September 17, 2019
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Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: The Green New Deal

In this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', Guntram Wolff and Simone Tagliapietra discuss the division of tasks for the new EU commissioners, following Ursua Von der Leyen's announcement of roles on 10th September. They specifically zoom in on the role of the Green Deal, one of the flagship projects of this commission.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 11, 2019
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