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5th Edition of the annual report Atlantic Currents : Overcoming the Choke Points

Press Release | December 13, 2018

Migration, demographics, climate change, the US foreign policy and the risk of a new international financial crisis… Various topics are explored in the 5th edition of the Atlantic Currents annual report, published on December 13th and presented by its authors in Marrakech, prior the opening of the 7th edition of the high-level Atlantic Dialogues conference.

This 211 pages document published by the Moroccan think tank Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) – the new name of OCP Policy Center - examines major global issues from a Southern perspective. In line with the Atlantic Dialogues conference, it aims to shed new light on challenges facing the Atlantic, North and South, by voicing the views of the South on the international stage.

Towards a transatlantic union Under the supervision of Bouchra Rahmouni, Senior Fellow at PCNS, various authors from Morocco, Senegal, Brazil or DRC have written 12 chapters, browsing economics, diplomatic and cultural issues. As Bouchra Rahmouni states, “this edition deals with present pitfalls and future challenges on the Atlantic scene, to explore the potential of transatlantic relations, in a framework of dialogue, respect and a better understanding of the other”.

After a foreword by Hafsat Abiola, daughter of the late President-elect Moshood Abiola and a strong voice in the Nigerian civil society, Antonio Paulo Paranagua, historian and former journalist for Le Monde, reflects on « The Atlantic, a triangular arena for cultural interaction ».

The current US administration puts much effort into eroding trust among both allies and rivals. Once severely undermined, trust is hard to regain, even if the next president turns out to be a devoted internationalist.” These words from Younes Abouyoub, Director of the UN Division on Governance and State-Building, appear on the chapter “A perilous legacy: from trumping multilateralism to the demise of the US storytelling ?”.

Refreshing perspectives on economy, security and geopolitics

Writing on « Africa : the demography-migration nexus », PCNS’ Senior Fellow Abdelhak Bassou is proposing refreshing thoughts, based on facts rather than perceptions :“North African countries, where population growth is slowing are also countries where development is making visible strides. These countries will be ready to welcome African migrants in the future to compensate for their demographic deficit.”

The Atlantic alliance : between revived Europeanism and restless Atlanticism” is researched by Rachid El Houdaigui, PCNS Senior Fellow. Agriculture and food security , as well as “Rebalancing the North-South discussion on climate change”, an original chapter by Rim Berahab, PCNS economist and Mbuih Zukane, from Cameroon, former Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leader and scholar at the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Antwerp (Belgium).

Another Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders Alumni, Eric Ntumba, young banker from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has co-written with the Brazilian scholar Otavanio Canuto, a PCNS Senior Fellow, on the prospect of a new international financial crisis. According to them, “the global debt levels coupled with the diverging economic trajectories taken by the US and other mature economies versus the one of emerging and frontier markets ones will definitely stage the scenery of the next crisis.”

Last but not least, PCNS Senior Fellow Mostafa Rezrari revisits the “Concept of the South” in the last chapter of the report. He reminds us that “the first use of the term ‘Global South’ dates back to 1969. Carl Oglesby, editor of the liberal Catholic Commonwealth claimed that “centuries of US dominance over the global South have converged to produce an intolerable social order”.

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About the Policy Center for the New South

Formerly known as the OCP Policy Center, the PCNS is a Moroccan think tank launched in 2014 in Rabat, with 39 associate researchers from both South and North. With a Southern perspective on the challenges facing developing countries, it aims to support strategic decisions in four main areas: agriculture, environment and food security; economy and social development; raw materials and finance; geopolitics and international relations.