Bridging Continents, Forging Alliances: Enhancing Military Collaboration between the European Union and African States in a Global Power Competition


4 June 2024




Club Prince Albert, Rue des Petits Carmes 20, 1000 Brussels

Type of Event

Expert Seminar

On invitation only


Egmont Institute and RHID



In an era marked by evolving geopolitical dynamics and global power competition, the need for strategic military collaboration has become increasingly paramount. The European Union (EU), its member states, and African states share common interests in addressing security challenges, fostering stability, and promoting peace on both continents, yet the recent coup wave in the Sahel and the arrival of Russian troops in the region more broadly have showcased divergences in interests, norms and expectations between European and African partners. In particular, the recent developments on the continent are forcing European states to reflect more deeply about which aims are to be prioritized, under what conditions and with which actors. This half-day conference aims to bring together practitioners and experts to explore past experiences, identify best practices, and chart a course for future collaborations in the realm of defense and security.

By convening this conference, we seek to promote a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in military collaboration between the EU, its member states and African states. Through shared experiences and thoughtful discussions, we hope to contribute to useful reflections on how to address current and future security concerns, fostering a more secure and stable environment for both continents.




13:15-13:25   Arrival and welcome coffee for participants

13:25-13:30   Welcome by: Colonel Éric Kalajzic, CSDS

13:30-15:00  Panel I: External Actors’ Competing Interests in Africa?


Moderator: Prof. dr. Daniel Fiott, VUB


Chinese Strategy in Africa: Dr. Alex Vines, Chatham House

Russian strategy in Africa: Dr. Samuel Ramani, University of Oxford

Turkish Strategy in Africa: Nebahat Tanriverdi YasarIndependent researcher

EU strategy in Africa: Prof. dr. Nina Wilén, Egmont Institute

15:00-15:30    Coffee Break 

15:30-17:00  Panel II: Review Past Experiences: Assess the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from previous initiatives.

Moderator: Prof. dr. Nina Wilén, Egmont Institute


Major General Werner Albl, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff EU Military Planning and Conduct Capability

Operation Barkhane: General Hervé Pierre, Commander of 9th Brigade of Infantry Marines

EUTM Mozambique:  Major-General Nuno Lemos Pires, Former Force commander of the training mission 

Operation New Nero: Pierre Dehaene, Belgian Defense/Kings College

Dr. Fiacre Vidjingninou, Reporter without Borders, Jeune Afrique

17:00-17:05 Concluding Remarks: Prof. dr. Nina Wilén, Egmont Institute