Tag Archives: Brussels

EU pledges €1.45 billion for The Gambia to assist democratic transition

A total of €1.45 billion were mobilised by the International Conference for The Gambia, co-chaired by The Gambia and the European Union.

The reinforced political and financial support by the international community will assist The Gambia in continuing its democratic transition, building on strong democratic institutions, the respect of human rights and the rule of law, and sustainable and shared economic growth.

The Gambia is showing to the world that freedom and democracy are about real people and real lives. After the presidential election in 2016, neighbours and the international community stood with the Gambian people. We stood on the side of freedom and democracy. Two years on, we continue to stand by your side. Today the EU is proud to announce €140 million to invest in opportunities for the Gambian people and further strengthen democracy – said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini, co-chairing the Conference together with the President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow.

“When people of a country decide to overturn a two-decades long dictatorship, this is a choice to commend. This is what happened in The Gambia one year and a half ago. When new authorities commit to profoundly reform the country and put it on the path of democracy and development, the international community has to answer their call. This is what happened today in Brussels. Out of the €1.45 billion that were pledged today, the EU has committed additional funding of €140 million until 2020, which adds to the €225 million mobilised since the beginning of the transition in 2017. Because nothing is more important today than showing to the people of The Gambia that democracy brings quick and tangible dividends”  – Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added.

Key outcomes of the conference are:

  • Reinforced political support to The Gambia: A joint communiqué by the co-chairs was issued, reaffirming support and solidarity in assisting the transition from a dictatorship to a fully-fledged democracy.
  • Increased financial assistance for development: The €1.45 billion pledged will help cover needs identified for donor support to The Gambia’s National Development Plan.

The International Conference for The Gambia will be followed by a Business Forum tomorrow, which will bring together interested European, regional and Gambian business representatives for exchanges on sector-specific strategies and projects during panel discussions on Energy & Infrastructure, Agricultural Value Chains, and Tourism.

Following the end of 22 years of authoritarian rule by former President Yahya Jammeh with the change of government in January 2017, the EU and The Gambia have opened a new chapter in their relations. An intense political dialogue is ongoing at all levels, and the EU is actively supporting the democratic transition in co-ordination with other international partners of The Gambia. Areas of co-operation include e.g. security, development for sustainable growth, transitional justice, economic partnership, trade, fisheries and migration.

BOZAR: Black speaks Black

Five short stories present Europe from the perspective of the young African diaspora. A group of young, talented Europeans with roots in various African countries have dedicated months of their lives to this project by way of workshops, boot camps and studio sessions. This film expresses their loves, fears and hopes for the future in the form of poetry, rap, dance and song. Their exhibition will immerse you in the reality of the film EUphoria. You will become part of the film and follow the quest for who we are as Europeans and what we, as human beings, leave behind.

This project came about thanks to ‘Black Speaks Back’: A Belgian-Dutch non-profit organisation set up to empower young people with African roots through online videos. In this project we collaborate with Wanlov the Kubolor (Ghana/Romania) as musical director, co-writer and co-producer; brother and sister Robert-Jonathan (director) and Nohely (script) Koeyers (NL/Curacao); art director Bouba Dola (NL/Congo) and poet Susu Amina (NL/Somalia). We have also brought a fantastic group of young people together to conquer the silver screen with their own songs and choreography.

Artists: Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu, Christopher Daley & Susu Amina
Young participants/Collaboration: Robert-Jonathan Koeyers, Nohely Koeyers, Bouba Dola & a group of about 15 young Afro-Europeans initiated by Black speaks Back
Experts: Mathieu Charles, Emma-Lee Amponsah
Theme: Afro-European identity
Final output: 1 story / 5 films

Wednesday 9 May – Premiere (Hall M)

20:00 Premiere EUphoria by Black speaks Back + Q&A

EU supports Somalia Transition Plan

The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met with Somalia‘s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in Brussels.

The diplomats discussed the situation in Somalia, and the current political, economic and security reforms undertaken by the Government. They stressed the European Union‘s critical role as the main partner in support of the country’s transition. They noted that, while high challenges remained, some encouraging progress had been made and should be maintained.

Mogherini highlighted the link between the implementation of Somalia‘s transition plan for security, the implementation of economic reforms and the political roadmap towards elections in 2020. She welcomed the commitment of the government of Somalia to progressively assume the lead role in providing security for its people and to implement reforms in line with the National Security Architecture agreed in April 2017. In this context Mogherini expressed the EU’s full support and commitment to the Transition Plan as the central piece of security reform in Somalia.

The EU diplomat confirmed the readiness to continue supporting the country, through an integrated approach using all available policies and instruments, including Common Security and Defence Policy missions and development cooperation funds.  She also looked forward to the upcoming Somalia partnership platform.

This meeting came ahead of the Somalia Security High Level Meeting which takes place this morning and gathers ministers and senior officials from Federal Government of Somalia, Federal Member States of Somalia, the EU, United Nations, the African Union, AMISOM and its Troop Contributing Countries as well as other international partners, in support of the Somali Transition Plan.

 

Afropolitan festival rocks Bozar

Three days dedicated to Afropolitan art, creativity and thought, on the theme “Black Artlantic” are offering numerous dazzling encounters.
The programming of the festival is inspired by British sociologist Paul Gilroy’s ‘Black Atlantic’ concept, and honours artists and intellectuals of African descent in Europe, Africa and the United States.

From Brussels to Los Angeles, by way of Abidjan, Kinshasa, and Addis, the festival becomes a crossroads of creations, meetings, exchanges and proposes some fifteen multidisciplinary events: concerts, debates, films, premières, talks, slams, hip-hop, handicrafts market, fashion, DJ-VJ party, African cuisine, bookstore, kids programmes, dance and singing workshops, exhibitions, and more.

Marie France Vodikulwakidi, master of ceremonies of the Afropolitan Festival 2018, will present the events during the three days. Creative and dynamic, she pursues her professional carrier in Public Relations and as influencer. She founded the company Connects The Dots embodies the new generation of Afro-Belgians.

Image: Congo Eza group

Magic System at Afropolitan Festival

Magic System will be celebrating 20 years of success on stage at the Henry Le Bœuf Hall during the 2018 Afropolitan Festival, Brussels.

Born in Anoumabo, a working class district of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, A’Salfo, Manadja, Goudé and Tino, the four current members of Magic System, forged were friends long before they knew any success. While retaining its roots in zouglou, the popular music of the Côte d’Ivoire, their music mixes a range of influences, from rap to raï and including RnB, electro and pop.
Their new album Ya Foye, celebrating 20 years of Magic System, also marks a new departure: among the hits for the clubs, there are  songs calling for people to come together, messages of hope and appeals to preserve the planet.

20 years after first meeting, Magic System are still driven by an incredible energy that enables their music to cross borders, generations and cultures in an infectious spirit of enthusiasm.

EU pledges more than  €400 million for Sahel

The International High Level Conference on the Sahel, co-chaired today by the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the G5 Sahel group of countries -Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, – has mobilised political support for the Sahel region, €414 million to support the Joint security Force of the G5 Sahel whilst reinforcing the coordination of sustainable development efforts in the region.

Sahel presser

“Instability has many factors so our response must be linked and ambitious. Security and development must go hand in hand – on the occasion, President Jean-Claude Juncker said.  “To do so, we must continue to mobilise all the instruments we have at our disposal. The EU has doubled its support to €100 million to reinforce the operationalisation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and I am proud that all our friends and partners of the Sahel joined us in these efforts.”

Key decisions of the High Level Conference:

  • Reinforced political support to the region: A Joint Communiqué was adopted, reaffirming support to assist the G5 countries in bringing greater stability to the region. Important support was given to the Mali peace process: those that threaten the process can face sanctions.
  • Increased financial assistance for security: the EU doubled its funding to the G5 Sahel Joint Force to €100 million, which aims to improve regional security and fight terrorism. The EU and its Member States together contributed to half of the international support of the Joint Force. This new funding fully meets the needs of the Joint Force and gives it the means to improve security conditions in the region.
  • Better coordination of development efforts: with €8 billion in development aid over 2014-2020, the EU is the biggest donor to the G5 Sahel countries. The EU will play a leading role in the Alliance for the Sahel launched in July 2017. This new initiative aims to coordinate and deliver aid quicker and more efficiently in the most fragile regions and is open to all the partners of the international community.

The EU uses all its tools to support development efforts in the region, notably the ‘EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ under which €843 million has been committed so far. The EU is also a member and key supporter of the newly formed Alliance for the Sahel, set up recently to coordinate existing EU and Member States development assistance better and faster in the region.

In 2014, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up the “G5 Sahel” group of countries to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face – from extreme poverty, terrorism or trafficking of human beings, which has potential spill-over effects outside the region. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.

The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions: EUCAP Sahel NigerEUCAP Sahel MaliEU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.

Brussels conference on Sahel

On 23 February 2018, the European Commission is hosting the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels, with the African Union, the United Nations and the G5 Sahel group of countries, to strengthen international support for the G5 Sahel regions.

Federica Mogherini introduction in French:

 

In 2014, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up the “G5 Sahel” group of countries to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.

The Sahel region faces a number of pressing challenges such as extreme poverty, frequent food and nutrition crises, conflict, irregular migration and related crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Violent extremism also poses a serious security challenge to the region and has potential spill-over effects outside the region, including Europe.

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