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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

EU confirms its support for West Africa's development and integration

EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs announced today (29 October 2013) new financial support for West Africa for the period 2014-2020, during a round of discussions with Ministers and other authorities of the countries in the region on the priorities to be funded during the next 7 years. This support will amount to some €6.4 billion (subject to confirmation by the European Parliament and Council) and is expected to support investments that generate growth and job creation for the 300 million citizens of West Africa.
Welcoming the commitment, Commissioner Piebalgs said: "We only have to look at the challenges in areas like energy, infrastructure development and drought-driven food crises to understand that West Africa has a direct interest in our ability to address poverty eradication and sustainable development together."
Last week, West Africa’s Heads of State decided to further cement the region’s Customs Union by adopting a common external tariff. By shoring up the West African common market, the initiative will have an economic and social impact quickly benefiting the poorest in the region and, at the same time, securing peace and lasting stability. The European Union remains West Africa’s key partner for regional integration and therefore warmly welcomes the agreement. Out of the €6.4 billion, €1.2 billion will be provided to finance regional programmes for 2014-2020.
As for the current financial period (2007-2013), the European Union has also announced its 2013 programme (€150 million) to enhance regional integration in the West African region; by helping to rehabilitate and support infrastructure projects, boost sub-regional economic activity and increase connectivity between countries within the region. As expected results of this programme, transportation costs and travel time will be reduced, therefore boosting trade activities.

Source: European Commission