EU boosts regional cooperation with 25 African countries

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, signs in Addis Ababa additional support to regional programmes for 25 countries in Africa.

At this occasion, Commissioner Mimica said: "The additional investments I am signing today worth Euros 225 million will strengthen job creation and stability in Eastern, Southern and Indian Ocean African countries, helping deliver on our Africa-Europe Alliance commitments.

The additional cooperation funding will support economic integration and job creation, as well as strengthen the nexus between development and security. Recent developments in the region have generated a need for stronger support in these areas to overcome the growing challenges such as population growth, adverse climate change effects, weak governance and the destabilising effects of international crime.

In concrete terms, three new actions are being envisaged, aiming at job creation and prosperity in Eastern and Southern Africa (Euros 125 million), as well as urban coastal development (Euros 80 million) and maritime security in the Red Sea area (Euros 20 million).

The signing of the new actions takes place in the context of Commissioner Mimica's official visit to Ethiopia where he met Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki, and the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa. During this mission the European Commission, the African Union Commission and the International Trade Centre (ITC) set up the African Union Trade Observatory, a key pillar of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Commissioner Mimica also visited neighbouring Eritrea on 8 February, where he met with President Afwerki.

Additionally, Commissioner Mimica signed a top-up of Euros 7 million in bilateral funding with SAPound o Tome and Principe.

Background

Commissioner Mimica signed the additional support with the five regional organisations covered by the regional programme: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

This additional budget brings the overall financial envelope for the regional indicative programme to Euros 1490 million for the period 2014-2020. It focuses on three priority areas: regional economic integration; peace, security and regional stability and regional management of natural resources.

The countries covered by this programme are: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Source: European Commission