ADDIS ABABA – The European Union (EU) will be committing additional funding worth €225 million (UGX934.6b) to strengthen job creation and economic integration in 25 African countries.
The countries include Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The deal was signed by Neven Mimica, the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development at EU, during the Commissioner’s official visit to Ethiopia. Mimica had discussions with the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa.
Others signatories came from five regional organisations namely Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Indian Ocean Commission, and Southern Africa Development Community.
Part of the support (€125 million) is expected to drive job creation and prosperity in Eastern and Southern Africa; €80 million will go to urban coastal development; and €20 million will support maritime security in the Red Sea area.
In a statement released after the signing, Mimica said: “The additional investments will strengthen job creation and stability in Eastern, Southern and Indian Ocean African countries, helping deliver on our Africa-Europe Alliance commitments.”
The statement further says this money will help overcome the growing challenges such as population growth, adverse climate change effects, weak governance and the destabilising effects of international crime.
The EU recently allocated €50 million support to the African Continental Free Trade Area for the period 2018-2020.
The first project worth €3 million was launched in December 2018 with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to develop national implementation strategies for the continental free trade area.