The head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Ethiopia, Ambassador Xavier Marchal, has died at the age of 61, the delegation spokesman announced in a statement made available on Monday.
The statement said Marchal died on Saturday, 25 May, at the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Brussels, Belgium, following a brief illness.
Born in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), he started his career as an EU official at the European Commission (EC) in 1988 in Equatorial Guinea, following an early career as an Agronomist and Project Director in Burkina Faso and Togo and then as an
Agricultural Adviser in the EU Delegation to the Central African Republic.
He served in many other African countries, becoming Head of Delegation to Sudan in 1999 and then Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe in 2005 until 2010, when he was appointed Head of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia.
‘Throughout his years with the European Union and in Africa he always showed great dedication, enthusiasm and pride in his work. He was an exceptional man, as all who met him recognized. For him, Africa was not just about poverty and development cooperation, but rather about men and women longing for a better future,’ the statement said.
He is survived by wife Vasile Crittenden, son Alex and two daughters – Sandra and Julie.