The European Business Council for Africa

On 3 November 2022, the European Union, the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria and the African Development Bank, inaugurated the new Cross River bridge at the Mfum-Ekok border crossing between Cameroon and Nigeria. This critical infrastructure also includes a new joint border post at Mfum (Nigeria) and is part of the EU-supported Bamenda-Enugu corridor between both countries.

The new bridge and border crossing are a tangible demonstration of the EU's enhanced support to African partners. They will further develop the agro-pastoral potential of the area and boost the income of the population. They will also enhance connectivity between Nigeria and Cameroon and increase integration, commercial exchanges and themovement of goods and people between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). As a result, the bridge will contribute to the facilitation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

On 8 November 2022, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of Namibia Hage Geingob signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a strategic partnership between the EU and Namibia at the COP27 in Egypt.

The partnership aims to ensure the development of a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials, refined materials and renewable hydrogen to support the green and digital transformation of the partners' economies. It deepens the cooperation in areas with mutual benefits for both parties. The partnership will promote local value addition in Namibia by supporting the development of the mining and renewable hydrogen value chains. It will support sustainable raw materials value chains and facilitate investment and funding opportunities to modernise the Namibian industries and drive economic and social development.

DEVELOPING AND STRENGHTENING KEY REGIONAL VALUE CHAINS AT CONTINENTAL SCALE IN AFRICA

A Validation Workshop Hosted By The African Union Commission, Department For Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry And Minerals (ETTIM) And The European Commission, Directorate-General For International Partnerships

Niamey (location TBC) / 22nd and 23rd November 2022

 

The African Union Commission and European Commission are jointly organising a workshop on regional value chains at continental scale.

It will be held in Niamey in the margin of the African Union Summit at the end of November, and will be articulated around different sector-specific sessions following the results of the International Trade Center Diagnostic on Regional value Chains, that the African Union Commission and the European Commission have commanded.

The European Union and United States of America agreed today to increase their collaboration to boost sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa, by unlocking more of the continent's abundant renewable power generation potential and improving local access to affordable green energy. Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and USAID Administrator Samantha Power signed in Washington a renewed Memorandum of Understanding on closer EU–US cooperation that will allow joint promotion of projects such as the African Continental Power System Masterplan.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Under Global Gateway, we are boosting our cooperation with the US administration to build the strategic autonomy of our African partners, including by unlocking more opportunities to ensure affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. Together, we can electrify even more schools and health centres, and fight even more efficiently the inequalities linked to energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Europe is facing a perfect storm: energy prices are up, economic growth is down and winter is coming. The Kremlin is using energy as a political weapon. We must prepare ourselves for a possible gas cut-off, principally through savings, diversification and solidarity among us. At the same time, we must accelerate investments in renewables and wage a global campaign for energy efficiency and savings to ensure sustainable energy access to all while staying within planetary boundaries.

When it comes to energy, Europe faces a dilemma: it needs to balance its short-term goals – to wean itself off Russian oil and gas while getting through the winter – with its long-term net-zero targets under the Green Deal. And it must ensure that its internal choices are compatible with its external commitments. There is no point pretending that doing so is easy, cheap or without trade-offs. But it is possible, if we invest seriously in energy savings, renewables and solidarity, both at home and around the world.

Today, ambassadors of member states to the EU agreed the Council's position on the 2023 EU draft budget. In total, the Council's position for next year's budget amounts to € 183.95 billion in commitments and € 165.74 billion in payments. Compared to the budget agreed by the Council and the European Parliament for 2022, this is an increase of +8.29% in commitments and a decrease of -3.02% in payments.

"The Council decided to pursue a prudent approach to the annual budgetary process. We will make sure that EU financial resources are focused on our current priorities. This means that we have adjusted several of the figures proposed by the Commission. I am pleased that we now have a solid basis for our negotiations with the European Parliament."
- Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister for Finance of Czechia

The EU, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and the cocoa sector have today agreed to step up work on making cocoa more sustainable. At today’s high-level event of the sustainable cocoa initiative, “Cocoa Talks”, they jointly endorsed an “Alliance on Sustainable Cocoa”, an ambitious roadmap to improve the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cocoa production and trade.

Following two years of discussions, all sides have committed to a set of concrete time-bound actions to improve the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain in West Africa. These actions aim to halt deforestation and child labour, and improve the living income for farmers. These commitments were endorsed by all and will be closely monitored.

The European Commission adopted today a proposal to mobilise €600 million from the reserves of the European Development Fund to address the current food security crisis aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. These funds will support African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to cope with the dire situation, through humanitarian assistance (€150 million), sustainable production and resilience of food systems (€350 million) and macro-economic support (€100 million).

Announcing the new support measure at the 2022 European Development Days in Brussels, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Russia's war of aggression is taking a heavy and senseless toll, not only on the Ukrainian population, but also those most vulnerable around the world. Russia is still blocking millions of tonnes of desperately needed grain. To help our partners we will mobilise an additional 600 million euros to avoid a food crisis and an economic shock.”

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Solidarity is at the core of our European Union values. The most vulnerable are facing tremendous suffering with a worsened food crisis following Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. With these additional €600 million, we will strengthen our support to address the crisis, while contributing to sustainable and resilient food systems.”

The European Commission is today taking a major step in making EU trade greener, fairer and more sustainable. It has unveiled a new plan to enhance the contribution of EU trade agreements in protecting the climate, environment and labour rights worldwide. In its Communication on “The power of trade partnerships: together for green and just economic growth”, the Commission is putting forward how to further strengthen the implementation and enforcement of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapters of the EU's trade agreements.

Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “We promised to make trade more sustainable and today we are delivering. Our trade agreements give us clout on the world stage and support economic growth and sustainable development – but as of now, we want to make them an even bigger driver of positive change. We will engage and support our partners to make this happen. We will step up our enforcement, and we will resort to sanctions if key labour and climate commitments are not met.”

Today in Cairo, on the occasion of the visit of Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her meeting with Egyptian President El Sisi, the EU and Egypt issued a joint statement on climate, energy and the green transition.

President von der Leyen said: “We are starting to tap into the full potential of EU-Egypt relations, by putting the clean energy transition and the fight against climate change at the heart of our partnership. I look forward to working with Egypt as COP27 Presidency to build on the good momentum from last year in Glasgow. Egypt is also a crucial partner in our efforts to move away from Russian fossil fuels and towards more reliable suppliers.”