Commissioner Urpilainen and the ECOWAS Commission President Touray launched a significant package to stabilise the West African region

Jutta Urpilainen @JuttaUrpilainen

European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, met the ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray during her visit to Abuja, Nigeria. European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, traveled with her.

Commissioner Urpilainen expressed that the European Union has been a long-standing advocate of regional integration, which leads to prosperity by creating added value. ECOWAS currently operates in a challenging political climate and hence plays a vital role in stabilising West Africa by promoting democracy, the rule of law, and economic cooperation. 

The EU stands behind ECOWAS’ work and regional leadership. The Commissioner was pleased to sign more than €210 million in financing agreements, contributing to ECOWAS programmes. Many of these initiatives align with the EU’s positive and sustainable Global Gateway investment strategy.

The President of ECOWAS, Madame Touray, warmly welcomed H.E. Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, and her delegation. Their visit aimed to strengthen the cooperation between ECOWAS and the EU said the ECOWAS President. 

The partnership between the two organisations was reflected by the signing of seven new financial agreements covering areas such as trade, migration, energy, and agriculture. These agreements were signed within the Team Europe Global Strategy context and in line with ECOWAS’ 4×4 Strategic objectives and ECOWAS Vision 2050. ECOWAS also appreciated the EU’s continued strategic partnership with them in providing support to address regional challenges in areas such as peace and security and institutional capacity development. ECOWAS also noted the progress towards implementing the projects identified under the NDICI-Global Gateway.

Commissioner Urpilainen and President Touray have reaffirmed the strong ties and deepening partnership between the EU and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Their partnership promotes peace, regional integration, and prosperity in West Africa. They have confirmed their mutual commitments to peace and security in the Sahel and the West African region amidst evolving complex politics and heightened security challenges.

Furthermore, they underscored their agreement on the situation in Niger and transition countries. They discussed ways to strengthen democratic processes and governance in the region and to ensure the continuity of assistance to the local populations who are the first victims of the situation.

Commissioner Urpilainen and President Touray concluded their meeting by signing seven financing agreements with a total EU support of €212.5 million. The agreements focus on critical areas such as trade and regional integration, energy interconnectivity, renewable energy, affordable and clean energy, sustainable food systems, food security, and migration. 

This new financial package for West Africa is just the beginning, as additional support in areas such as peace and security, transport, water management, environment, digitalisation, health, and education will soon follow. 

Under the Global Gateway Africa-Europe Investment Package, the European Union has committed to mobilise up to €150 billion in investments for Africa between 2021 and 2027. This investment will accelerate an inclusive, green, and digital transition, boosting regional economic integration, sustainable growth, and the creation of decent jobs.

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