The European Business Council for Africa

On Tuesday, October 26th, the foreign ministers of the African Union and the European Union will meet in Kigali, Rwanda to prepare for the summit of heads of state and government of two continents, which will be held in early 2022. My objective is clear: to make our partnership take an unprecedented qualitative leap. My visit will also further strengthen the good relations between the European Union and Rwanda.

My first mission to Rwanda as HR/VP will be an opportunity to visit the genocide memorial in Kigali as well as the Interpeace project in Bugesera, supported by the European Union in cooperation with Sweden, which deals with reconciliation and post-traumatic care. The genocide against the Tutsis, which left nearly a million people dead, reminds us that the initial objective of European integration - to prevent war on our continent and to contribute to peace in the rest of the world - must continue to remain central to our actions today. The international community failed to prevent this genocide in 1994, this must never happen again.

Members of the Africa Investment Forum team showcased two projects during a virtual investor roundtable as the continent looks to boost its healthcare sector and attract much-needed investment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The projects, jointly worth around $140 million and located in East and West Africa, were previewed for potential investors.

The roundtable, held 21 October, is part of a series of events organized by the Africa Investment Forum and hosted by the Atlantic Council to drum up interest in the Forum’s upcoming Market Days, where a range of investment opportunities will be unveiled. The invited participants represented the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.7

The African Development Bank Group has approved $350,000 in grant funding for technical assistance to consolidate the country’s capital markets strategy and increase the liquidity of its fixed income markets.

The grant will be sourced from the Capital Markets Development Trust Fund, a multi-donor fund administered by the African Development Bank.

The national stock exchange, Bolsa de Valores de Cabo Verde (BVC), will use the funds to develop a capital markets masterplan and upgrade current infrastructure to stimulate liquidity in secondary bond markets.

Under the auspices of the EU-African SME Summit 2021 in Rome, a new Helpdesk on African Intellectual Property (IP) matters was launched to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This online desk, implemented by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and with support from the Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) will enable EU businesses to ask their specific questions and to find detailed and practical information on Africa intellectual property matters.

The Council today adopted a decision launching the European Union Military Training Mission in Mozambique (EUTM Mozambique). The mission will support a more efficient and effective response by the Mozambican armed forces to the crisis in the Cabo Delgado province, by providing them with training and capacity building.

EUTM MOZ will become operational as soon as the ongoing handover from the Portuguese Armed Forces Training Project will be concluded, and is expected to reach its full operational capability by mid-December 2021. It will rely on around 140 military personnel divided between two training centres –one for commando training and one for marines.

The common costs for EUTM Mozambique, to be covered via the European Peace Facility, were evaluated at €15.16 million for a period of two years. In addition, the Council approved on 30 July an urgent assistance measure under the European Peace Facility for a total of €4 million to complement the training of military units with the provision of non-lethal individual and collective equipment.

Thousands of Zambian smallholders to benefit from EUR 30 Million (635m ZK) agriculture investment initiative launched by Zanaco and Team Europe

First targeted European Investment Bank support for sustainable agriculture investment in Zambia
Initiative to increase access to finance, support job creation and enhance agricultural productivity
Impact strengthened by agriculture and financial best-practice technical assistance
Dedicated focus to increase access to finance by female smallholders
Smallholder farmers and rural cooperatives across Zambia will benefit from a new EUR 30 million initiative to accelerate agricultural investment launched in Lusaka and Luxembourg today. The new initiative will improve agricultural productivity, upgrade agricultural processing, and support a sector severely impacted by COVID-19 challenges and is supported by a best-practice assistance program.

In preparation for the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to start on 1 November, the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) met in an OACPS High-level Dialogue with Partners on 15 September 2021 to discuss common priorities for the Conference.

The African Development Bank has welcomed $150 million investment in its Desert to Power G5 Financing Facility from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF approved the amount at its 30th Board meeting this week.

Desert-to-Power is a flagship renewable energy and economic development initiative led by the African Development Bank. Its objective is to light up and power the Sahel region by building an electricity generation capacity of 10 gigawatts through photovoltaic solar systems via public, private, grid and off-grid projects by 2030

The objective of the umbrella Desert to Power G5 Financing Facility is to assist the G5 Sahel countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger – to adopt a low emission power generation path by making use of the region’s abundant solar potential. It will mobilize $966 million over a seven-year implementation period. The initiative is expected to lead to substantial CO2 emission reductions – projected at over 14.4 million tCO2equ.

The African Development Bank Group’s Board of Directors has approved a loan of $86.72 million to co-finance the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

The multi-phase project will provide water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and generate hydroelectricity for Lesotho. The project entails harnessing the waters of the Senqu/Orange River in the Lesotho highlands by constructing a series of dams for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Delivered by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, on the case of Paul Rusesabagina

Thank you Mr President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament,

The European Union has been closely following the human rights situation in Rwanda. We address human rights issues on a regular basis in our dialogue with Rwanda, in particular in the political dialogue under Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement.

The European Union will continue to engage with the Rwandese authorities on the promotion of governance, civil society and human rights. We will continue to advocate for the full implementation of all human rights obligations as well as of the Universal Periodic Report recommendations.