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Commissioner Piebalgs visits three West-African countries to discuss future development cooperation

European Commission - IP/14/124   07/02/2014

Other available languages: FR DE LV

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 7 February 2014

Commissioner Piebalgs visits three West-African countries to discuss future development cooperation

EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, will begin on Monday a high level visit to Mauritania, Senegal and the Cape Verde, where he will underline the EU’s ongoing commitment to supporting the region and confirm future funding for the three countries.

The visit will be the Commissioner’s first ever to Senegal and Cape Verde, and first high level visit since 2008 to Mauritania. He will meet Heads of states and governments, ministers and representatives of civil society of the three countries, and discuss future priorities and ongoing areas of cooperation, notably to implement EU's development blueprint known as the "Agenda for Change", as well as regional issues of common interest and the post-2015 agenda (when the current Millennium Development Goals are due to expire).

Speaking ahead of the visit, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs said: "I am happy to see how the Agenda for Change is contributing to the support of inclusive and sustainable growth in the region, notably through sustainable agriculture and energy".

"During my visit I’ll be looking at new ways that the EU and Africa can cooperate there going forward – in energy, in the private sector and in infrastructure, for example, we’re committed to looking at innovative ways of working which can benefit people as much as possible by boosting growth, jobs and investment", he added.

These are the main subjects which will be discussed in each country:

  • In Mauritania, the Commissioner will discuss future cooperation in the areas of food security, rule of law and health. He will also highlight the key role that the country plays in the security of the Sahel.

  • In Senegal, the country's development priorities, mainly agriculture and food security, sanitation and energy, will be discussed. The Commissioner will welcome the positive role of Senegal in regional economic integration and in increasing stability in the region.

  • In the Cape Verde, Commissioner Piebalgs will visit a renewable energy project, which is one of the largest wind farms in Africa, and launch a reinforced cooperation programme with the country.

The Commissioner recently announced €6.4 billion for 16 countries in the region of West Africa1 (subject to confirmation by EU Member States) between 2014-2020, which is expected to support investments that generate growth and job creation for the 300 million citizens of West Africa.

Background

The Commission’s high level visit will be a key opportunity for the Commissioner to meet African leaders ahead of the 4th Africa-EU Summit, which will take place in Brussels on 2-3 April 2014. Mauritania has the presidency of the AU in 2014 and will co-preside over the events of the EU-Africa Summit. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is also one of the ten members of the High Level Committee on the post 2015 process. 

The Brussels summit, after those held in Cairo, Lisbon and Tripoli, will have the theme "Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace". The Summit is expected to mark a further significant step forward for the partnership between the EU and Africa in all three areas identified.

The region of West Africa1 includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Mauritania.

For more information

IP/13/1002: EU confirms its support for West Africa's development and integration (previous press release on funding to West Africa)

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)


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