The European Business Council for Africa

The European Commission has allocated emergency humanitarian funding of €2 million for those affected by recent unprecedented floods in South Sudan. To date, an estimated 40 people have died and over 750,000 people are affected. Many people had to flee their homes due to the floods in 31 of the 78 counties of the country, including most famine- affected areas. Projections indicate that over a million people may be affected by those floods by the end of the year.

After one year of fighting, the conflict in northern Ethiopia has further worsened and expanded, creating a devastating humanitarian crisis, undermining the territorial integrity and stability of the country and impacting the whole region. The EU is particularly worried about the recent escalation of fighting in the Amhara region and the military advances of the TPLF and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), as well as aerial bombardment by the Ethiopian Airforce of Mekelle, all of which risk dragging the country further into fragmentation and widespread armed conflict and worsening the situation of the population.

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted. In particular, Argentina, Colombia, Namibia and Peru were added to the list.

Non-essential travel to the EU from countries or entities not listed in Annex I is subject to temporary travel restriction. This is without prejudice to the possibility for member states to lift the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU for fully vaccinated travellers.

The EU condemns the detention of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other members of the civilian leadership by Sudan’s military forces. We call on the security forces to immediately release those they have unlawfully detained. The actions of the military represent a betrayal of the revolution, the transition, and the legitimate requests of the Sudanese people for peace, justice and economic development.

To start, I want to thank the Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairperson of the African Union Executive Council, Christophe Lutundula, our Rwandan host, Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta, and the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Monique Nsanzabaganwa for hosting us and for this great organisation.

Our two continents face many challenges that threaten both Africa and Europe. And there are, at the same time countless opportunities available for us. On which we can and we should and we have to work together. There are countless opportunities, not only challenges.

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.