The European Business Council for Africa

Speech delivered by Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson

Ms President, Honourable Members,

Thank you for this debate that I take on behalf of the High Representative/Vice-President [Josep] Borrell.

Kenya is a key partner of the European Union and a pillar of stability in a troubled East Africa. President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President [of Kenya, Uhuru] Kenyatta have decided in June 2021 to further deepen the European Union-Kenya relations by launching a strategic dialogue on issues and agendas of common interest.

The European Union and Kenya share common values and principles, and the European Union recognises and appreciates Kenya’s long history of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees and providing protection to those fleeing persecution, conflict and other forms of insecurity.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $50 million Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) facility between the African Development Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. The agreement is expected to boost intra-Africa trade, promote regional integration, and contribute to the reduction of the trade finance gap in Africa, in line with implementation aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, the EU, EU Member States and European financial institutions, as Team Europe, have disbursed €34 billion in support to partner countries in addressing the pandemic and its consequences, delivering on its promises with concrete results. This disbursement already exceeds by far the initial €20 billion Team Europe support package pledged in spring 2020, which has now increased to €46 billion.

The African Development Bank, in partnership with the Nordic Development Fund and the Government of Denmark will roll-out a program to strengthen access to climate-resilient water and sanitation resources in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger and Somalia. The initiative is expected to strengthen recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new initiative will enhance the sustainability of water systems through the construction or upgrade of existing infrastructure. The program will also support feasibility studies to prepare bankable projects that contribute to increased financing for water, sanitation and hygiene services, improving human health, child education and economic productivity.

On 5 August 2021, the Council adopted Decision 2021/13061.

The Council Decision amends the list of persons subject to restrictive measures as set out in Annexes II and III to Decision 2012/285/CFSP by removing two persons.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania2, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this Council Decision.

Le Haut représentant pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité/Vice-président de la Commission européenne, Josep Borrell, sera en visite officielle en Tunisie aujourd'hui, 9 septembre, et demain, 10 septembre. Il s'agira de sa première visite officielle dans le pays en tant que Haut représentant.

Aujourd’hui, le Haut représentant se réunira avec les instances indépendantes –établies par la Constitution de 2014- ainsi qu’avec des représentants de la société civile tunisienne et des acteurs politiques.

L’Union européenne se réjouit du bon déroulement du deuxième tour des élections présidentielles organisées à São Tomé e Principe et tient à féliciter le Président élu, M. Carlos Vila Nova. Nous poursuivrons avec lui et son gouvernement l’excellente coopération bilatérale entamée avec ses prédécesseurs pour le bénéfice des relations entre l’UE et São Tomé e Principe et nos peuples.

On 9 September, the African Development Bank Group, Green Growth Knowledge Platform, and other partners will launch a new initiative on integrating natural capital into development finance in Africa.  

This initiative, called the Natural Capital for African Development Finance Programme NC4-ADF, is supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through its dedicated agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the MAVA Foundation, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Economics for Nature (E4N) partnership, with the goal of giving a central economic role to natural capital.

Nigeria’s Federal and State governments have expressed overwhelming support for an initiative to create Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) - public-private partnerships aimed at developing priority value chains through developing infrastructure in rural areas, focused on finishing and transforming raw materials and commodities.

At a high-level briefing session held on Monday, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who hosted the meeting, reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to put in place enabling policies and incentives to attract private sector investment in the Zones, to ensure successful implementation.

South Sudan has begun producing oxygen following the successful installation of the country’s first oxygen plant at Juba Teaching Hospital, set up with funding from the African Development Fund.

The oxygen plant was procured as part of measures to support the country’s ongoing Covid-19 response with a grant from the African Development Bank Group’s concessional lending arm. The project was implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of the government.