The European Business Council for Africa

The Commission has adopted the Global Europe Civil Society Organisations programme worth €1.5 billion for the period 2021–2027. Funding will specifically support civil society organisations outside of the EU, as independent actors of governance and development in their own right and their engagement to contribute to inclusive and participatory democratic processes and better development outcomes.

Civil society organisations are vital to the attainment of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, and stability. They help devise and implement external EU policies and programmes so that they meet people's needs, reduce inequalities, and fulfil the central commitment of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “Civil society organisations play an essential role in protecting human rights, exposing their violations, and demanding action from governments to protect their citizens. Sadly, their work is under threat in many parts of the world. We are not just aware of the challenges they face, we are listening and we are taking action. This new programme is proof that we will support and stand by their courageous daily work.”

Militaries in West Africa’s unstable Sahel region are being outmanoeuvred by tech-savvy militants, with access to new technological advances, Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum
warned this week.
Among the factors making it hard to keep up are the use of satellite phones, advanced weaponry smuggled from fragile Libya, and the use of motorcycles for increased mobility, he
said, giving militants the upper hand and requiring a new strategy to ‘make the war less
His comments are worrying.

At today's Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo, the Commission announced a new pledge of €2.5 billion for 2021-2024 to reduce all forms of malnutrition. This contribution covers humanitarian assistance to address urgent needs as well as support to tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition, including a longer-term food systems transformation in EU partner countries.

Speaking at the Summit, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the global nutrition crisis. The need for more equitable, resilient, and sustainable food and health systems has never been as urgent. Today's pledge will contribute to addressing malnutrition in a comprehensive manner, by supporting sustainable and resilient food systems. We want to create a healthy future, free from hunger and malnutrition, for all”.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “Nutrition is an important aspect of EU humanitarian aid. From helping children in their first years of life to supporting those affected by crises, which have left them without food, good nutrition is a basic essential. We will strengthen our support to ensure malnutrition treatment reaches the most vulnerable, helping millions to have healthier lives.”

Sovereign wealth funds are gaining ground in Africa, although urgent financial reforms are needed to boost foreign investment following the Covid-19 pandemic. This is according to economic experts speaking during the second day of the 2021 African Economic Conference in Cabo Verde.

Studies presented during one of the sessions on Friday highlighted the progress made in some countries over the past few decades to improve policies. Experts argue that more work is needed to diversify and deepen financial markets so as to expand beyond commercial banks.

Munashe Matambo, Associate Research Scientist at the Zimbabwe-based Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre, said there are at least 117 sovereign wealth funds currently operating or in the pipeline around the world, managing $9.1 trillion – 10% of global GDP.

A common crypto currency and an integrated capital market could boost trade in Africa and sustain growth after the Covid-19 crisis, experts said at the 2021 African Economic Conference on Friday.

But the continent first needs to harmonise national rules and protocols governing the financial systems of individual countries to make the reforms workable, panellists said during a discussion on reforming Africa’s financial system.

Anouar Hassoune, Professor of Finance and CEO of the West Africa Rating Agency, believes that a common crypto currency will ease the cost of doing business and give the continent an identity.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved $217 million in loans to fund a project that will improve road transport services in Kenya’s northeastern region.

The loans comprise $75 million from the non-concessional window of the Bank Group and $142 million from the concessional lending division, known as the African Development Fund. The Kenyan government will contribute $6.3 million. The $223.3 million project covers the 740 km Isiolo-Mandera corridor and will enhance regional integration and trade between Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. About 867,000 people who reside around the project area are expected to benefit from the initiative.

The African Development Bank’s African Natural Resources Centre and the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa have hosted the first in a series of webinars discussing the potential of Africa’s blue economy.

The webinar, held on November 23, centered around a study on the potential of offshore renewable energy in Africa commissioned by the African Natural Resources Centre as part of a series to inform policymaking, planning, and investment in blue economy strategies in Africa. The findings were presented by Linus Hammar from Octopus Ink Research & Analysis, Sweden.

The audience was treated to an analysis of the potential of the offshore renewable energy that Africa possesses, beginning with an overview of coastal and island countries and prospects for commercial development.

Le Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement et la Banque nationale pour le développement économique (BNDE) du Sénégal ont signé, le 25 novembre dernier, à Dakar, un accord de financement de près de 15 milliards de francs CFA (22,5 millions d’euros) pour renforcer les capacités de financement du secteur agricole et des petites et moyennes entreprises.

Le financement est une ligne de crédit composée comme suit : 15 millions d’euros de la Banque africaine de développement et 7,5 millions d’Africa Growing Together Fund, un fonds de financement de projets de développement, garantis ou non garantis par l’État, hébergé par la Banque.

Speech delivered by Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, on the situation in the country

Thank you President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament,

The European Union is following closely the human rights situation in Cameroon, a country situated in a fragile region, taking its due share of the burden, hosting refugees fleeing from the Central African Republic and Nigeria.

There are two persistent violent crises within Cameroon, in the so-called 'Anglophone regions' and in the Far North.

Speech delivered by Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, on the current situation in Somalia

Thank you, President.

Today I have four points of concern to make:

Firstly, we continue to witness political and security tensions in Somalia that have created delays in the electoral process and overall reform dynamics, notably security transition.

While we welcome news that Somalia’s leaders appear to have resolved their differences, we urge them to refocus on national priorities and work to overcome political hurdles; we urge for the finalisation of a credible electoral process by the end of 2021 in line with the electoral model consensually agreed respecting the 30% minimum quota for women.