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EU to support horn of Africa

Support is aimed at regional development and peacekeeping

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The move was announced ahead of the planned meeting between the deputy director general of the European Commission’s Directorate for Development and Cooperation, Marcus Cornaro, and European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos.

They will be joined by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and African Union Commission Deputy Chair Erastus Mwencha in a high level joint operation to strengthen the partnership between the EU and Africa.

All of the development leaders will visit Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, where they will seek the opinions of heads of state, government ministers, and leaders of civil society groups, to figure out how progress can be made on cooperation in what is still a troubled region.

"The EU stands ready to further deepen its long-standing partnership with the Horn of Africa, by helping to build robust and accountable political structures, enhancing trade and economic cooperation, financing peace keeping activities and providing humanitarian assistance and development cooperation,” said Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development.

“Our support will help the people of the Greater Horn on their path to much needed peace, stability, resilience and growth,” he added.

The new EU support will be funded by the from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), where the main tranches of the money will be funneled to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Somalia, Djibouti and Kenya, with some of the funding  parts will to be allocated for regional organizations.

The Commission has released figures of what is expected to be spent on some of the targeted countries, with Ethiopia to receive €745 million, Kenya €435 million, Somalia €286 million, and Djibouti €105 million.

The strategic approach of the EU to the Horn of Africa was born from a framework that was created in 2011.

It was decided that the main areas of focus would be on political dialogue, trade, regional integration and economic cooperation, crisis response and crisis management, the financing of peace keeping missions and initiatives for development partnerships.

Also highlighted by the framework was assistance on security matters, lending support to the Somali security forces as part of a state building process, and the African peace keeping force AMISOM.

Fighting piracy in the Western Indian Ocean through an EU naval force was also viewed as a priority to reduce organized crime.

Better energy and transport connections between Horn of Africa countries were also to be promoted.

According to Commission figures, the economic value of the Horn of Africa is increasing, in 2013 total exports from the EU reached €4.8 billion, and imports €2.3 billion.


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