Tag Archives: Neven Mimica

Danish investment in Africa

The European Commission and Denmark signed a transfer agreement for a voluntary contribution of around €10 million (DKK 75 million) to the EU External Investment Plan.

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The European Investment Plan is a key tool of the Africa-Europe Alliance. Most of the contribution will go to the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the financing arm of the EU External Investment Plan. This is the largest single contribution to the Fund by an EU Member State.

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A signing ceremony for the contribution took place at the margins of the Council of EU development ministers in Brussels.

“With this contribution, Denmark has given a ringing endorsement of the Commission’s ability to mobilise investment and maximise impact through the External Investment Plan. I am confident that our collective effort will bring the EU’s partnership with Africa to the next level we need for a successful Africa-Europe Alliance”, welcoming Denmark’s initiative, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said, 

EU committed to Africa agri-food sector

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector. The Task Force for Rural Africa delivered its final report, an agri-food and rural agenda for the new ‘Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs’ unveiled by President Jean-Claude Juncker in the 2018 State of the Union speech.

 

 

 

According to the recommendations of this group of African and European experts, Africa and the EU should develop a partnership operating at three levels: people to people, business to business, and government to government. It would institute a multi-stakeholder dialogue at all levels, starting locally, and enable a closer connection between African and European societies, business communities and governments.

Agriculture and rural development policy is leading the way in EU-Africa political cooperation. The Task Force Rural Africa is at the centre of this work: its recommendations explore ways to boost public and private investment, to exchange best practice and share knowledge, and to deepen policy cooperation across the board;” agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said.

 

 

 

 

This is a very important day for the Africa-Europe Alliance. Today we have seen the hard work of the Task Force on Rural Africa culminate in concrete recommendations. Now it is up to us to come together, take these valuable recommendations forward and devise solutions that can deliver what we all want: a positive rural transformation, and an inclusive and sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector,” International development and cooperation Commissioner Neven Mimica said.

African Union (AU) Commissioner for rural economy and agriculture Josefa Sacko said: “The Task Force report recognises the new reality of Africa and Europe as global partners on an equal footing. It demonstrates that farmers and the food industry should work hand in hand to take on the new opportunities that the African Continental Free Trade Area will offer and also, build the regional markets needed for Africa’s long term food security.”

Launched in May 2018 by the European Commission, the Task Force was set up to provide advice on strengthening the Africa-Europe partnership in food and farming. The European Commission will ensure follow-up and implementation of several actions recommended by this group of experts to support the development of African agri-food sector and rural economy.

Building on some of the short term recommendations made by the Task Force, the European Commission will start implementing the following projects:

  • Twinning and exchange programmes between African and European agricultural bodies: the Commission has just launched a Pilot Vocational Education and training initiative with Africa of €5 million. Additional funds from the EU budget will be made available for other twinning programmes for rural women’s organisations, farmer organisations and cooperatives, businesses and public entities with their peers.
  • AU-EU Agribusiness platform: recognising the key role the private sector can play for structural transformation in Africa, the Commission proposes to set up a platform to link European and African businesses. This platform is expected to help identify challenges and opportunities for private investment and trade between the two continents.
  • Innovation hubs: to support ‘agripreneurs’ and the African agri-food sector, innovation hubs can be established or strengthened with the aim of applying practical knowledge. These hubs would bring together national research, higher education systems, farmers, their organisations and the private sector to facilitate –amongst others- digital innovation and skills development.

The report handed over today is a landmark in the process towards more cooperation between the EU and Africa in the agri-food sector, identifying four strategic areas of action for the medium to long term: job creation, climate action, sustainable transformation of African agriculture and development of the African food industry and markets.

To make this an open and inclusive process, the Commission will launch an online consultation to gather direct feedback from African stakeholders on the Task Force’s strategic approach and on the state of play of the agri-food trade and cooperation between our two continents. Together with today’s report, the outcome of this consultation will feed into the third AU-EU agricultural ministerial conference in Rome, planned for June 2019.

Effective follow-up will also be ensured through the setting-up of an implementation group composed of ministerial and private representatives from both Africa and the EU. The group will be presented at the ministerial conference in Rome.

African Union Summit opens in Addis Ababa

The leaders of  African states gather for the annual African Union #AU summit which started its activities from February 7.

The refugees and internally displaced persons are in the focus of the Summit taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Nowadays Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than a quarter of the world’s 25.4 million refugees, the UN agency for refugees UNHCR reports.

However that figure is considered to be a conservative assessment because of ongoing conflicts in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

According to the United Nations, 85% of the displaced people are located in developing countries, with three African countries – Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia  among the major hosts of refugees in the world.

The activists and campaigners for human rights insist there is an urgency for the African Union to undertake practical measures to address the issue of refugees on the continent.

The #AU will also discuss a standard passport for all African countries. There are expectations that the passports will bring the continent closer to free movement of people alike in the European Union, to promote a viable alternative to current illegal migration.

The AU’s Commission promised to announce the design, production, and issue a model of a passport during the Summit.

However the problem of passports is not limited to its design, or funding. There is no tradition, neither requirement to issue birth certificates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an exception of some urban agglomerations. The date of birth in the overwhelming number of cases is unknown, which creates a considerable obstacle in identification of  an individual. The case of a notorious Ethiopian “junior” athlete Girmawit Gebrzihair,  causing an international scandal, is a recent example of difficulties the authorities meet, while producing passports for citizens without birth certificate, based only on their affidavit, the method lacking credibility. An alternative for establishing a correct age, can be in use of medical checks with a sophisticated modern equipment, however the are no funds available to engage in such a costly practice.

 

 

DRC Panzi Hospital receives EU €4 million fund

This week a new support was announced in Brussels by the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, met with Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. The two winners were invited to discuss the eradication of violence against women and its impact on development, together with EU development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council.

“As the European Union, we admire the immense courage and tireless work of Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, who often put their own lives at risk. We have a duty to support their work and all the people they represent, as we are doing, and this is also the best way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” High Representative Federica Mogherini said.

“Violence against women and girls is one of the most horrendous crimes, one of the greatest injustices of our time, and an obstacle to the development of any society. I am very pleased to be able to strengthen our support for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates. This is how the European Union can help put an end to sexual violence, once and for all, everywhere in the world” Commissioner Neven Mimica added.

A fund of €4 million will support Dr Mukwege‘s work to ensure the continuity of support programmes for victims of sexual violence and women suffering from gynecological conditions at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Support to Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Panzi hospital is internationally recognised as a reference model for care provided to victims of sexual violence. This additional funding brings EU support in development cooperation and humanitarian aid for Dr Mukwege’s Panzi Foundation to some €19 million.

Dr Mukwege has set up a socio-economic reintegration programme for children and women used as sex slaves in the mining areas of the South Kivu province in DRC. These programmes have achieved very important results in the medical treatment of gynecological conditions caused by sexual violence. 50,000 women have already been treated, and another 500 have benefited from support for social and economic integration and legal assistance. Girl victims of sexual abuse and forced labour have given access to education.

The EU plans to strengthen its ongoing stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in the Sinjar region in Iraq through a €1 million contribution to Nadia Murad‘s “Sinjar Action Fund” initiative. European development cooperation in the liberated areas of Da’esh in the country supports in particular the needs of displaced populations, vulnerable groups and local communities.

#EDD2018 Development Days launch in Brussels

Today the 12th European Development Days (EDDs) bring together Europe’s and the world’s development community, under the theme “Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, invest”.

“There can be no sustainable development if half of the world’s population is left behind. We need equal participation and leadership of women and girls in all spheres of life – both in Europe and in the world. This is what we will focus on during these European Development Days” – said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who has opened the EDDs .

“The EDDs gather the development community from all corners of the globe to learn from each other and to inspire new partnerships. Only if we act together, will we manage to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and empower them to truly be at the forefront of sustainable development” Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica emphasised.

From the European Commission, the President Jean-Claude Juncker with EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini, First-Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, as well as Commissioners Cecilia Malmström, Neven Mimica, Christos Stylianides, Phil Hogan and Mariya Gabriel, will participate in the event.

The European Development Days will furthermore be joined by many high-level speakers and participants including: Her Majesty Mathilde, Queen of the Belgians; Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain; Her Royal Highness Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark; President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca; Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg; President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani; President of Rwanda Paul Kagamé; President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré; President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou; President of Liberia George Weah; Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed,and many more.

 

 

Burkina Faso receives €50 million in EU aid

Today, in the margins of the European Development Days, Commissioner Mimica signed new support for Burkina Faso, together with President Kaboré.

“Today I have signed in the presence of the President Kaboré of Burkina Faso aid package of 50 million euro to support the efforts in security and development of the North of the country” – Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner said.

This week Burkina Faso was celebrated as a country abandoning capital penalty.

Half a billion in EU aid to Africa

The European Union adopts new programmes and projects worth a total of €467 million under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The EU continues to deliver on its commitments to assist vulnerable migrants and refugees and address root causes of irregular migration. The new support measures in the Sahel/ Lake Chad region and the Horn of Africa will foster stability, jobs and growth, especially for young people and vulnerable groups.

They complement ongoing bilateral and multilateral efforts, such as through the Joint African Union – European Union – United Nations Task Force. Today’s additional funds will allow for live-saving assistance to be taken forward, including accelerating resettlements of refugees from Niger as a priority.

“We continue working to save lives, provide safe and dignified returns and legal avenues, and tackle the root causes of migration, by creating jobs and growth. With the UNHCR, we have evacuated 1,287 refugees from Libya to Niger, who need to be resettled swiftly now. With the IOM, we helped 22,000 people to return home and provide reintegration assistance. Today’s additional commitments will further consolidate our work towards managing human mobility – in a humane, secure and dignified way together with our partners” – Federica Mogherini, EU top diplomat said.

“The majority of today’s €467 million assistance package will be dedicated towards improving employment opportunities, especially for young people. But challenges remain, and the Trust Fund’s resources are running out. If we want to continue our live-saving assistance, additional contributions by EU member states’ and other donors will be crucial”-  Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development explained.

Increasing stability and supporting the resilience of local populations is one of the pillars of the EU’s integrated approach. In central Mali, activities worth €10 million will address the rapidly degrading security situation, to increase trust between Malian security forces and local populations. Further new activities will promote conflict prevention, foster food security in South Sudan or improve knowledge on malnutrition in Sudan. In Sudan, support will also enable humanitarian and development actors to access hard-to-reach areas. In Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau new measures will help to set up a reliable civil identification registration and document issuance system, to allow the population to benefit from enhanced mobility, document security and better access to rights.

The European Union’s work with the UNHCR has so far allowed for 1,287 refugees to be evacuated from Libya to Niger through the Emergency Transit Mechanism, with 108 people having been further resettled to Europe. In parallel, together with the International Organisation for Migration, 22,000 migrants stranded along the routes have been assisted to voluntarily return home, where they receive reintegration support.

Today, the EU mobilises an additional €70 million, of which €10 million will support accelerating resettlements under the UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism and €60 million ensure that voluntary return and reintegration assistance can be continuously provided by the IOM. In Kenya, an innovative approach to piloting private sector development will promote better economic integration of refugees and supports the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. Additional €20 million in regional support will help countries in the Horn of Africa, in developing and implementing sustainable and rights-based return and reintegration policies.

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