The European Business Council for Africa

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.

The Council today decided to temporarily suspend the application of certain provisions in the visa code to nationals of The Gambia. This decision was taken due to the country’s lack of cooperation on readmission of third-country nationals illegally staying in the EU.

The following provisions have been temporarily suspended for nationals of The Gambia:

- possibility of waiving requirements with regard to the documents to be submitted by visa applicants

- limitation of the processing period to 15 calendar days and, as a consequence, restriction of the extension of this period to 45 days

- issuing of multiple entry visas

- optional visa fee waiver for holders of diplomatic and service passports

President Julius Maada Bio signed today the law abolishing the death penalty in Sierra Leone.

This important achievement would not have been possible without the commitment of the Parliament and the Government. It enhances the respect for human dignity in the country and reflects the growing trend in Africa and around the world to confine capital punishment to the history books.

African economies fell $290bn short of the financing required to respond to the health and economic needs due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, according to the World Bank’s latest regional outlook.

This follows a similar warning from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year that the continent, unable to mobilize the kind of stimulus seen elsewhere, is facing a $345bn financing shortfall through 2023.

These pandemic induced numbers have compounded an already severe pre-covid funding gap for Africa’s various development needs.

This includes up to $108bn annually for infrastructure, as much as $331bn for small and medium sized enterprises ($65bn in the agriculture space alone), and up to $238bn for climate change adaptation between 2020 and 2030.

The EU and its member states strongly condemn the decision taken by the Government of Ethiopia on 30 September 2021 to expel seven United Nations (UN) officials from the country. The EU stands in full solidarity by the UN, and in particular OCHA, OHCHR and UNICEF directly targeted by the decision, and expresses strong support for their operations in Ethiopia, which are conducted on a neutral and impartial basis.

This decision risks further undermining the possibility to bring relief to millions of Ethiopians in a dire humanitarian situation. This comes at a moment when aid organisations are facing continuous day-to-day impediments to bring aid to people in need in Tigray and other parts of northern Ethiopia. The spill-over beyond Tigray has increased the need of protection and assistance.

The EU and its member states strongly condemn the decision taken by the Government of Ethiopia on 30 September 2021 to expel seven United Nations (UN) officials from the country. The EU stands in full solidarity by the UN, and in particular OCHA, OHCHR and UNICEF directly targeted by the decision, and expresses strong support for their operations in Ethiopia, which are conducted on a neutral and impartial basis.

This decision risks further undermining the possibility to bring relief to millions of Ethiopians in a dire humanitarian situation. This comes at a moment when aid organisations are facing continuous day-to-day impediments to bring aid to people in need in Tigray and other parts of northern Ethiopia. The spill-over beyond Tigray has increased the need of protection and assistance.

Au regard des défis à relever et des enjeux de la transformation structurelle pour une croissance inclusive au Bénin, six principaux piliers ont été identifiés comme socle du nouveau modèle de croissance et de développement du pays, relève la Note de diagnostic‑pays (NDP) de la Banque africaine de développement publié le 27 septembre dernier.

La note fixe, en premier, le développement du capital humain pour une productivité accrue. En effet, afin de créer une dynamique, impulsée par une main d’œuvre qualifiée et compétente, le document de la Banque invite le Bénin à intensifier les investissements dans l’éducation, la formation technique et professionnelle.

L’Union européenne salue le rôle de premier plan joué par la Communauté Economique des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) lors de la Conférence des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement consacrée à la situation politique en République de Guinée et en République du Mali, qui s’est tenue à Accra le 16 septembre dernier.

Dans ce cadre, l’Union européenne accueille favorablement la décision de la CEDEAO d’initier le processus de réexamen du Protocole additionnel sur la démocratie et la bonne gouvernance de 2001, afin de renforcer la démocratie, la paix et la stabilité dans la région.

The German government will contribute €100 million to the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), affirming its commitment to efforts to tap Africa’s renewable energy potential and drive its transition to clean energy sources.

The announcement came during the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Energy, held in New York on 24 September as part of the UN General Assembly.  

The funding will go to unlock private sector investment in green-baseload projects, a SEFA priority focus. Specifically, it will support technical assistance and investment in power generation, transmission and distribution to increase penetration of renewable power in African grids. The funding follows Germany’s initial contribution to SEFA of €50 million, made in 2020.

Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, said during the High-Level Dialogue: “We need to accelerate the global energy transition. This requires the rapid phasing out of all fossil fuels and a massive expansion of renewable energy. The time to act is now.