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Building on Chapter 5 and embedded in a discussion of two competing paradigms – Africa as “hopeless” and “hopeful” continent – this chapter deals with the economic and socioeconomic situation after 2000. It discusses various geopolitical and economic changes that took place since then, including the rise of China and efforts to give the continent a “big push”, which culminated in the “Year for Africa” 2005. It shows that there have been more trading partners, more consumption, more foreign direct investment, more private economic activities, more efforts against corruption, and leapfrogging. The chapter also discusses the shape and importance of the informal sector and turns to the socioeconomic development, providing facts and figures. The Millennium Development Goals and their successors, the Sustainable Development Goals as well as to what extent African states have achieved them are analysed as is the effectiveness of development aid.
Our interviews reveal that most judges from the CJEU and Supreme Administrative Courts realize there is at the moment little room for a dialogue that goes beyond one party asking questions and the other party answering them. Procedural mechanisms that could be used to facilitate a dialogue between both courts, such as: requests for clarification, provisional answers and leaving more leeway for highest courts to scrutinize potential preliminary questions before they are send to the CJEU, are relatively unpopular. A better “horizontal dialogue” between national courts before referring questions to the CJEU is considered useful by all parties but is troubled by language barriers, time constraints, and a failing communication infrastructure. Although better informed questions in combination with provisional answers could enhance the “vertical dialogue” with the CJEU, certainly not every judge is looking for this. We discovered major differences between on the one hand the judge-lawmaker, who wants to influence the way EU law is interpreted and the judge-arbiter, who is primarily focused on settling disputes. The latter judges feel the CJEU is better equipped to develop the course of EU law, while the former judges believe that in a multilevel legal order, this should be a mutual responsibility.
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