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Monday, 21 November 2011

EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visits Togo

On 20 November, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, arrived in Togo for a two-day visit to look at the country's progress and challenges in the wake of renewed development cooperation with the EU, post-2007.

The Commissioner is taking part in the 22nd Session of the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which takes place in Lomé from 19 until 23 November and brings together Members of the European Parliament and the elected representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. He also meets President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé and Prime Minister, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, amongst others.

After a long suspension of development cooperation between 1993 and 2007 due to the political situation, the EU and Togo resumed full cooperation at the end of 2007. Together with the government, the Commissioner will take stock of the first results of the renewed cooperation during the visit and look ahead at the priorities which are necessary to foster economic development and consolidate democracy.

The Commissioner will also announce a new funding of €7.2 million to foster macroeconomic reforms and improvement in public finance management in order to contribute to poverty reduction. Besides the necessity of improving the rule of law in a country affected by decades of political turmoil, the essential needs of Togo are to improve infrastructure and strengthen economic recovery and the private sector through good governance, economic and institutional reforms.

Commissioner Piebalgs will also visit a major EU-funded infrastructure project (PAUT) through which roads, sanitation projects and drainage outfalls are built. The latter offer protection against flooding and reduces illnesses caused by stagnant water (malaria, typhoid and cholera).

Source: European Commission