They will be financed under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, and their aim is to develop economies and businesses in departure zones of migrants and improve living conditions in rural areas. They also signed two projects in support of food security and agricultural development and of the rule of law, financed by the 11th European Development Fund, for a total value of € 30 million.
The signature of these agreements took place on the occasion of Commissioner Mimica's visit to Senegal where he attended a conference on "Migrations, governance and development in West Africa" hosted by President Macky Sall. Commissioner Mimica delivered the opening speech at the conference which is taking place days before the first anniversary of the Valletta Summit on migration between EU and African leaders.
These financing agreementsconfirm the EU's commitment to strengthening cooperation on migration with West African countries by addressing root causes of migration. This is in line with the new partnership framework approach of the European Union, that aims at deepening cooperation with countries of origin and transit. Senegal is one of the five priority countries with which the EU is implementing this approach. It further reinforces the already good relations between Senegal and the European Union.
The visit is also an occasion to present the Commission's proposal for a new External Investment Plan which aims to provide an integrated framework to boost investments in Africa. Senegal is an excellent example where such an instrument could be used to support private sector and enhance the investment climate.
On the occasion of the signature of the four projects, Commissioner Mimica said: "The EU will continue to support the Government of Senegal in its endeavour to improve access to basic social services, to make its economy more competitive and to strengthen food security and agricultural development. I am convinced that improved living conditions in rural areas and new job opportunities will go a long way to address root causes of irregular migration and make a real difference in the prospects of Senegalese people".
The two new projects under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa will focus on "Developing economies and local businesses in the departure zones" (€ 40 million) and "Improving people's living conditions in the rural areas – Natanguées farms" (€ 20 million).
As part of the ongoing development cooperation between the EU and Senegal, Commissioner Mimica also signed agreements to support the rule of law (€ 10 million) and food security and agricultural development in the southeast region (€ 20 million). The project "Support to the rule of law" aims to improve access to a fair and efficient justice system, promote the rights of detainees and reinforce the fight against corruption and money laundering. The project "Food security and agricultural development in the southeast region" will support agricultural production, rural infrastructures and equipment, access to markets, improve economic opportunities and access to a balanced nutrition for vulnerable population. Both financing agreements were set up in the framework of the 2016 Annual Action Programme (AAP) of the 11th European Development Fund.
During his mission, Commissioner Mimica visited the centre "Empire des enfants" co-financed by the European Union. This centre contributes to the promotion of children's rights by fighting against trafficking and reintegrating street children into their families. Commissioner had the opportunity to meet with educators and speak to the children themselves.
The overall allocation for Senegal under the 11th European Development Fund amounts to € 347 million for the period 2014-2020.
The development cooperation priorities which have been agreed between Senegal and the EU for the period 2014-17 are 1) Strengthening democratic governance (€ 20 million), 2) Sustainable agricultural development and food security (€ 105 million), and 3) Water and Sanitation (€ 65 million). The total support to Senegal from the EU and its Member States amounts to EUR 1.5 billion for the period.
For the period 2018-2020, the EU and those Member States that work with Senegal will jointly programme their development cooperation with Senegal and the European Investment Bank. The EU has allocated € 147 million to Senegal for this period.