The European Union has been trying to achieve its long-term goals through partnerships and cooperation with other like-minded global actors. Africa (through its regional institutional body, the African Union) has been the first and only multilateral entity with which the EU has forged a long-term partnership. Despite its rhetorical language, the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership is unlikely to upgrade the political and economic interaction between the two partners. In the past few years, serious rifts have grown between the EU and its African counterparts concerning trade agreements and development policies. Moreover, new actors have made significant inroads in Africa, providing an alternative to its long-standing dependence on Europe.