Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič visited Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to enhance cooperation with Africa. The mission aims to keep up the momentum of a strengthened EU-AU partnership. EU supports Africa with a new delivery of 7.5 tons of coronavirus testing kits donated by Germany. This donations is a part of ‘Team Europe‘ efforts to help partners to deal with the pandemic.
Africa is our natural partner and neighbour. We need to strengthen our ties with Africa, a young and dynamic continent. Josep Borrell, High Representative / Vice-President
“To face common challenges, we need a strong Africa, and Africa needs a strong Europe. This visit is an opportunity for exchanges with the African Union and the Ethiopian Government. In these difficult times strained by the pandemic, the EU, together with its Member States, has demonstrated solidarity by mobilising an unprecedented Team Europe effort with Africa. Delivering these testing kits shows yet again that we are tackling the pandemic on all fronts,” said Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
During their visit, the High Representative and the Commissioner had a number of exchanges with their counterparts from the African Union and Ethiopian Government. The High Representative discussed topics such as preparation of the EU-African Union Summit in 2021, peace and security cooperation, as well as bilateral issues within the EU-Ethiopia strategic partnership. In addition, the High Representative and the Commissioner will visit several EU-supported humanitarian projects: an IOM migrant transit centre in Addis Ababa, and various sites in Ethiopia, including a camp for internally displaced people.
EU donated 900k COVID-19 testing kits to Africa CDC
1.53M Africans have contracted coronavirus to date, says the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention health agency. European Union donated 900,000 COVID-19 testing kits to the public health agency.
EU Commissioner for External Affairs Josep Borrell and Kwesi Quartey, deputy chairperson at the African Union, attended the handover ceremony at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
We stand by the Ethiopian people and will continue to help those in need. Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management
Responding to a question, the EU official said they were concerned about the conditions of migrants in Libya, a country whose health infrastructure is in tatters since the 2011 ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
“They are in a very difficult situation, especially those at camps controlled by militias,” Borrell said, adding that little could be done because “Libya is a country at war.”
As many as 1.53 million Africans have contracted the novel virus, including 37,387 deaths and 1.27 million recoveries, to date, according to the Africa CDC.
“This final delivery of life-saving testing equipment to the African Union wraps up the first phase of the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, which has provided crucial support these past months to vulnerable countries amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the EU is providing close to €47 million for humanitarian projects in Ethiopia, including assistance to internally displaced people uprooted by violence or natural disasters.“ said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.
EU Humanitarian Air Bridge for Africa
The High Representative and the Commissioner participated this morning in a handover ceremony delivering 7.5 tons of coronavirus testing kits to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. In total, the EU has made available almost 1.4 million tests for the extraction and the detection of the virus to African countries.
The EU and its Member States are Africa’s first partner in trade, economic and development cooperation, providing €25 billion in 2018, representing 58% of the total Official Development Assistance to Africa. In 2019, 30.7 % of Africa’s trade in goods took place with the EU. The Coronavirus pandemic has further demonstrated the need for a strong EU-Africa partnership to tackle the global threats that both our continents face.
In the Joint Communication of 9 March, Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa and the Council Conclusions on Africa of 30 June, the EU laid out some of its priorities and aspirations for the future of our continent-to-continent partnership. The upcoming EU-African Union Summit, planned for 2021, will be a milestone on the path to take our partnership to the next level.
During his visit, the High Representative and the Commissioner will meet Prime Minister Abyi to discuss the scope of the EU’s and Ethiopia’s bilateral cooperation as well as Ethiopia’s current political situation. They will also meet President Sahle-Work and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu.
The test kits delivered by the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight are part of a €10 million immediate support package to the African Union by the German Government in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The delivery is part of the larger Team Europe support to the African continental response to the coronavirus. The total Team Europe global response package stands at €36.5 billion, combining resources from the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The Team Europe Global Response supports African countries with at least €6.8 billion. Additionally, a considerable part of the overall Team Europe guarantees of €2.9 billion will also benefit Africa.
EU urges South Sudan in Africa to increase budget allocation for education as schools reopen
The European Union Delegation has urged the government of South Sudan to increase its budget allocation to the education sector and ensure actual execution of such allocations.
“The Ministry of General Education and Instruction has a crucial role. We are of aware of the scarce resources now available until now to meet the demands and the needs of students, teachers and parents. Nevertheless, sufficient investment needs to include education,” Wim Vandenbroucke, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Juba said during an event to reopen schools at Juba 1 School on Monday.
Mr Vandenbroucke insisted that education has to be all-inclusive: “Not one child should be deprived from education: young girls, young boys, children in difficult-to-reach areas and in vulnerable situations, children with disabilities.”