The European Business Council for Africa

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.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, met with the Vice-President of the Libyan Presidency Council Musa Al-Koni in Brussels on Wednesday.

The meeting took place one month before the start of Libyan elections on 24 December. High Representative Borrell welcomed the efforts of Vice-President Al-Koni and of the Presidency Council to organise and proceed with the elections. In just over a year, Libyans have agreed on a ceasefire and a road map leading to the formation of temporary authorities and then elections. The High Representative reaffirmed the EU’s readiness to provide all available support to facilitate the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible presidential and parliamentary elections. In this regard, he announced the upcoming deployment of an EU Electoral Expert Mission on the ground, ahead of the elections on 24 December.

Plusieurs hauts dirigeants africains ont appelé à « transformer le rêve en réalité » lors du forum des affaires sur les batteries et véhicules électriques en Afrique, appelé « DRC-Africa Business Forum », qui s’est ouvert, mercredi à Kinshasa, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC).

Le président de la RDC, Félix Tshisekedi, a inauguré le forum aux côtés de son homologue zambien, Hakainde Hichilema, de représentants des chefs d’État du Gabon et du Maroc, et du président du Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, dont l’institution est partenaire de l’événement.

The U.K. government this week urged its citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately due to the risks from its escalating civil conflict, following similar warnings by the likes of Germany, France, the U.S., and Turkey.

This comes just over a year into fighting between the federal government and forces in its northern Tigray state - originally aimed at neutralizing the Tigray People's Liberation Front. It has left thousands dead, displaced at least 2m people according to the UN, while threatening to further escalate already simmering ethnic tensions.

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed declared this week that he would personally lead the war effort from the front, following reports that rebel forces - which have announced a coalition to remove his government - have gained the upper hand over government troops, and could attack the capital Addis Ababa.

Le Conseil d’administration du Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement a approuvé, mercredi à Abidjan, l’octroi d’un prêt de 178,75 millions de dollars américains au gouvernement de Madagascar pour la mise en œuvre du Projet d’aménagement de corridors et de facilitation du commerce.

« Le projet contribuera au désenclavement du sud de Madagascar et participera au renforcement de la résilience des populations, face à l’insécurité alimentaire récurrente dans cette partie du pays », a souligné Adam Amoumoun, le responsable-pays à Madagascar de la Banque africaine de développement.

The African Development Bank played a critical role in supporting millions of people across the continent, affected by the impact of the Covid19 pandemic in 2020. This is according to its latest Annual Development Effectiveness Review released on Tuesday.

The pandemic caused fiscal deficits to double and indebtedness to rise sharply, reducing the capacity of African countries to invest in economic recovery. The African Development Bank responded swiftly with a Covid-19 Response Facility that provided $3.6 billion in emergency budget support. The funding went into key areas such as health, social protection, and economic assistance, benefitting 12.3 million vulnerable households across 31 countries.

The African Development Bank Group and the Government of Burundi on Tuesday signed a $29 million grant agreement to finance Phase 1 of the Access to Energy Project, which is part of the country's infrastructure development program.

The agreement was signed during an official meeting in Bujumbura between the African Development Bank Group's Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo, and Burundi's Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Domitien Ndihokubwayo.

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken will visit Senegal on Saturday, the final stop on a three-country Africa visit this week that also took him to Kenya and Nigeria.

It’s Washington’s top diplomat’s first trip to the continent under the Biden administration, which in July said it plans to revamp U.S. - Africa relations, aimed at ‘substantially increasing’ trade and investment.

There’s been little sign of said revamp this week, which has focused on security, climate, and Covid. The press statement for Blinken’s trip didn’t even mention trade, or investment.

Some of this could be blamed on the distracting effect of upheaval from recent crises in Sudan and Ethiopia, but the apparent lack of interest is nothing new.

Washington has long been criticized for being slow to recognize Africa’s investment potential - for good reason. The most notable piece of legislation aimed at boosting trade is the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), from 2001.

Biden isn’t the first to promise a revamp. Obama’s ‘Power Africa’, and Trump’s ‘Prosper Africa’ are part of a number of initiatives launched in recent years, supposedly aimed at promoting trade and investment.

The African Development Bank Group and the Agence Française de Développement on Wednesday signed a co-financing and partnership agreement to strengthen their relationship and leverage additional resources for impactful projects in Africa.

African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina and Agence Française de Développement CEO Rémy Rioux signed the agreement in Paris on behalf of their two institutions.

The agreement, which runs for five years, from 2021 to 2026, targets an indicative amount (€2 billion) in co-financing over its first three years. It will complement the current partnership between both institutions through mutual understanding, by facilitating staff exchanges, sharing knowledge, and jointly organizing events. The existing partnership already covers such key sectors as infrastructure, water and sanitation, agriculture, and the private sector. The new agreement supersedes an earlier framework agreement signed in November 2015.