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Monday, 07 June 2010

EU, ECA to deepen partnership on African development matters

EU and Economic Commission for Africa are deepening their relationships in development areas that include climate change and land ownership.The Commissioner for Development, Mr. Andris Piebalgs stated this recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia , when he led a delegation of on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of ECA, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh. Piebalgs said the issue of land ownership in Africa was critical to the EU because, "it will continue to be sheer misery for Africans and development will be seriously hampered until we resolve the land ownership problem." He said the EU was supporting a small project on land ownership in Cape Verde and urged the ECA to initiate similar pilot projects and give technical support to that of Cape Verde. Responding, Janneh said the issues outlined by the EU Commissioner were already being addressed at the ECA and stressed that the EU continued to be one of the largest supporters of development in Africa, especially in terms of the resources invested on the continent. He said ECA had collaborated with the African Union and the African Development Bank in developing the Pan-African Land Policy Framework and Guidelines after intense stakeholder consultations at the sub-regional level and called for EU support in operationalising the findings in the report across Africa. The ECA scribe also acknowledged EU's support of African integration agenda, which, he said, constitutes a major pillar of ECA's work programme, which is being implemented in collaboration with the African Union Commission. The Executive Secretary said while ECA would be interested in deepening its partnership with the EU on climate change and land ownership, the Commission would also be interested in forging new partnerships on governance, women's rights, regional integration, trade and other areas of shared values, including the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), statistics and statistical development.