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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 3 December 2013

EU confirms its support for development and integration in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean

EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will today announce new financial support for countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean for the period 2014-2020. He will take part in discussions on the priorities for funding with Ministers and other authorities of the involved countries and of regional organisations.

The new EU support for the coming seven years will amount to some €7.5 billion (subject to confirmation by the EU Member States) and is expected to support investments that generate growth and job creation for the almost 400 million citizens in the region.

Commissioner Piebalgs commented: "There are many challenges to be tackled in this region, in areas like energy, infrastructure development and related to food crises that are caused by drought. Together, we can successfully work towards eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development."

He added: “Our new support reflects the EU’s ongoing commitment to investing in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. But the region and its countries need to be in the driving seat – working in partnership, we can continue to make major progress towards increased development and prosperity for this region.”

The new funds will address key priorities that the EU will discuss with each of the countries present in the programming seminar. The event will also take into account the new forms of implementation as set out in the Agenda for Change, the EU's blueprint to make development aid more efficient and more result-targeted. In particular, this will include the blending of funds (i.e. mixing of grants and loans).

Improving regional integration

On top of today's announcement for the 2014-2020 period, the European Union today also made public its 2013 programme (€130 million) to enhance regional integration and cooperation in the East and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region which falls under the current financial period (2007-2013). Concrete activities will support trade, regional integration, infrastructure, sustainable fisheries and the resilience of islands. As a result international and intra-regional trade is expected to improve, while safeguarding crucial natural resources. 

Foreseen activities include, for example, the construction of two one-stop inspection stations on the East African Community’s Central Corridor which will simplify border controls and shorten waiting times for trucks. Another activity will focus on improving the sustainability of the fisheries sector in the Western Indian Ocean.


The region of East and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean includes the combined membership of 5 regional organisations (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – COMESA; East African Community – EAC; Intergovernmental Authority on Development – IGAD; Indian Ocean Commission – IOC; and Southern African Development Community – SADC). The region has a total population of close to 400 million and includes the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Over the last two decades, the majority of the countries in the region have embarked, at different levels, on a process of democratisation and macroeconomic stability. Governance, peace and security, however, remain major challenges. The fragmentation of the economic area, the lack of infrastructure for development and a weak industrial base, combined with low levels of competitiveness, are hindering the regional integration process and the possible "take off" of the region.

Some results of EU funding and programmes in countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region

In Ethiopia, the EU has supported the road sector through sector budget support of €200 million. Results have been impressive: In recent years, the overall length of federal roads increased by 5.1% per year, and that of regional roads by 7.2% per year; district roads evolved from 0 to 6983 km. Simultaneously, the quality of the network increased, with the percentage of roads in poor condition dropping from 22% to 14%. Better accessibility of rural areas has had an important effect on reducing rural poverty.

In Somalia the EU has invested €85 million in the education sector in Somalia since 2008. As a result more than 40,000 students have gained access to basic, primary and secondary education and more than 330 classrooms were constructed or rehabilitated. 4,000 primary and secondary teachers qualified - almost 30% of these were women. The number of children enrolling in primary schools has remarkably improved; from very low levels (35 %) in 2007 to an estimated 45% in 2010.

In Madagascar, EU support, among other things, targets basic education and health services in nine regions to improve access, and strengthen quality of service. For example, the EU has financed the salaries of contract teachers funded by parents’ associations, which ensured continued schooling for children of poor households. The EU has also financed school canteens benefitting 219,000 pupils and teachers areas where there is a risk of hunger, as well as school kits for 3,800,000 primary pupils during the 2013/2014 school year.

In Zimbabwe more than 20 million textbooks were distributed with EU support to all primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe thus bringing the pupil/textbook ratio to 1:1, the best in sub-saharan Africa. In the area of health, all primary health care facilities and district hospitals in rural areas of Zimbabwe now dispose of essential medicines and the rate of vacant doctor posts has been brought down to less than 30% in 2013 from 70% in 2011. Zimbabweans furthermore have more equitable access to maternal and child healthcare, because user fees for services have been eliminated in rural clinics and district hospitals.

Mozambique: Maputo is the capital and largest city of Mozambique and its wider area has a population of 1.8 million. The project (Commission contribution: €25 million) aims to improve water supply services in the greater Maputo area by supporting the continuing development and rehabilitation of the city’s water supply system. This will meet increasing water demand and increase service coverage, from 670,000 to 1,500,000 people.

The project will expand water production capacity by from 4000 to 10.000 m³/hour, increase daily time of supply from 4 to 20 hours, reduce unaccounted-for water from 62% to 40% and increase network coverage towards peri-urban areas: from 1125 km to 1627 km of installed network.

For more information

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

Website of the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs:

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

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