EU boosts regional cooperation with 25 African countries

An additional budget worth €225m was provided by the bloc to strengthen job creation and stability in Africa

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica

EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, signed on 9 February in Addis Ababa additional support to regional programmes for 25 countries in Africa. The additional cooperation funding will support economic integration and job creation, as well as strengthen the nexus between development and security since recent developments in the region have generated a need for stronger support in these areas to overcome the growing challenges.

These include population growth, adverse climate change effects, weak governance and the destabilising effects of international crime.

"The additional investments I am signing today worth €225m will strengthen job creation and stability in Eastern, Southern and Indian Ocean African countries, helping deliver on our Africa-Europe Alliance commitments,” Commissioner Mimica said at the occassion, adding that 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.

In concrete terms, three new actions are being envisaged, aiming at job creation and prosperity in Eastern and Southern Africa (€125m), as well as urban coastal development (€80m) and maritime security in the Red Sea area (€20m). This additional budget brings the overall financial envelope for the regional indicative programme to €1490m for the period 2014-2020.

The signing of these new actions took 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) also 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.

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