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The European Union is planning to provide funding of up to 44 billion Euros by 2020 to Africa and specific areas in Europe, the EU Delegation in Ethiopia stated. The investment will mostly go to the private sector. Traditional development assistance alone cannot meet the challenge of achieving sustainable development and it must be complemented by other tools, in order to make best use of and leverage scarce public funds, the delegation added.
“The response of the EU is to encourage economically inclusive sustainable growth and to create jobs for the people. Only in that manner will we address root causes for instability, for displacement of population and for poverty, which are things we would like to address in Africa and in our neighborhood in Europe,” stated Francisco Carreras, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation.
“We would like to address these things because of mutual interest. Unless Africa and our neighborhoods develop, and reach their potential we will have serious problems with instability and insecurity along and within our borders due to irregular migration of millions of people,” Carreras said.
He added that although a lot has been done, financial assistance in development cooperation has not been enough to close development gaps in poor countries because needs keep increasing and which requires more money.
The implementation of the External Investment Plan will allow the EU to lead by example in developing more effective partnerships that go beyond classical development assistance. This is fundamentally a new way the union supports development and the way the union identifies, prepares and delivers support for investment projects, according to the European Commission. The plan is expected to contribute to achieving sustainable development in partner countries that include Ethiopia, in a coherent and consistent matter.
It will also target socio-economic sectors and in particular infrastructure, including energy, water, transport, information and communications technology, environment, social infrastructure, human capital, and provide finance in favor of micro, small and medium sized enterprises.
Addressing the issue of migration specifically to the Ethiopian context, Ambassador Chantal Hebberecht said that, good governance is one of the key issues that must be looked at.
“The root causes of migration are very complex; it could be poverty, lack of education, lack of job opportunities and for people in this country these things are major problems. With regards to what the European Union is doing in relation to good governance, I can say that we have not done enough, but we do have some activities. We have a specific project to increase the responsibility on agricultural investment in the country. We know that one of the reasons for people’s discomfort in different regions is the lease management of land. We have a project funded by Germany and implemented GIZ on that specific issue,” Hebberecht said. She further underlined that respecting the rights of farmers is extremely important and the EU will be more engaged in promoting good governance in the country.