The Wider Atlantic Economy: An Integrated Space at Risk?
The German Marshall Fund of the United States, together with the Policy Center for the New South and the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) gathered stakeholders from the four corners of the Atlantic basin for three days of informal discussion on the future economic cooperation and connectivity in the wider Atlantic. What are the key drivers and trends that will shape political and economic cooperation in this region over the next seven years? This is what our participants had to say.
Oliver Boachie, Special Advisor for Digitalization, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Republic of Ghana
Well, in my opinion, I believe, that the key driver would be: technology and innovation. The reason is that Africa is threatened with so much corruption. We need tools that will enable us to control that. I think technology is the key driver that will enable us to do that. That is what is going to drive cooperation between Africa and the rest of Atlantic region.
Tosin Durotoye, CEO, The Red Kite Group
I believe that there should a great focus on technology and innovation as I feel that is that thing that transcends borders and allows us to have an interconnectivity in how we do everything from work, to trade, to communicating. For me, as an advocate for technology, I do believe, especially with the South Saudi concern that is sort of the next frontier for us to engage with the wider world. I think technology is going to be a huge driving force in our economic development, and the development of our youth, and the development of our economy. For me, I think, a grateful cause would be in that area. I think, also, as someone who is from Nigeria, governance is a huge area of focus for me in how we are going to navigate that, [It] is going to really determine how we connect with the rest of the Atlantic region in the next couple of years, and whether or not we're able to build a good governance structure, have good, you know, just leadership in our countries, I think it would be very critical moving forward.
Julia Leite, Director, Centro Brasileiro de Relações Internacionais (CEBRI)
I think that the main driver would be the values. The values we share in our nations, and then the desire to have a better world in terms of environment, in terms of security, and also in terms of developing and integrating also the economy. The values that we share in this region, I think, it’s that — to have a strong and closer relationship between the countries and the region.
Michael Stumo, Chief Executive Officer, Coalition for a Prosperous America
The dominant trend is probably the game of great powers going on now between the US and China, in which China may indeed become the next economic superpower and perhaps political superpower and those are always messy transitions and so there would be fall out in the Atlantic from that rivalry. Number two, is whether Europe and its governance and America, the Atlantic region, can deliver broadly shared economic growth to its citizens, that would determine whether the citizens give those governments legitimacy. Number three, is the question of whether the international institutions should be governance in themselves or whether they should be merely supportive of good state-based governance.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.