School of Social and Political Science

Africa Europe Foundation calls on Edinburgh academic to join transport taskforce

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Professor Paul Nugent at the School of Social and Political Science (SPS) has joined a new taskforce to support the development of relations between Africa and Europe, and reinforce their partnership in the international arena.


Professor Nugent is a key member of the new Africa Europe Foundation, which brings together experts from across a series of policy domains to reimagine a resilient common future as Africa and Europe in partnership. The initiative is supported by the European Union and the African Union.  As the two continents steer their way through the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing climate emergency, the African Europe Foundation will address some of their main challenges.

Five key-sector taskforces 

A group of five taskforces will bring together a range of experts in key sectors that are central to Africa and Europe’s relationship:

  • Health
  • Digital
  • Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems
  • Energy and Green Transformation
  • Transport and Connectivity

Paul, Professor of Comparative African History and African Studies at SPS, will be a member of the team looking at Transport and Connectivity.

Through these five key taskforces and its main steering group, the Foundation aims to:

  • Enlarge the Africa Europe partnership to new and diverse actors
  • Drive fresh policy thinking and programming as an observatory of pioneering practices
  • Unlock opportunities and new avenues for development
  • Reframe and reinforce the Africa-EU partnership within the international arena

Professor Nugent said: “The past two decades have witnessed unprecedented investments in transport infrastructure, with a view to better linking Africa to the global economy and promoting regional integration. However, important questions remain about how the infrastructure gap can be closed in a manner that is both financially and environmentally sustainable.

“The taskforce will consider the hard choices that will need to be made between investing in road, rail, lake and air transport and in managing competition between seaports. The taskforce provides a chance to take stock and to recommend evidence-based solutions to a range of pressing issues, such as developing transport alternatives in rapidly growing urban cities, and increasing connectivity between centres across border regions. 

“The African Governance and Space (AFRIGOS) project, where I am Principal Investigator, has applied to itself to some of these very questions and I very much look forward to contributing to a policy forum that includes senior government officials, infrastructure providers and logistics experts.”

The Africa Europe Foundation

The foundation is a consortium entity founded by leading European think-tank Friends of Europe and a leading African Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in partnership with the African Climate Foundation and the ONE Campaign, with multiple stakeholders from civil society, business, policymaking and the youth sector across African and Europe.

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