European Union and Burkina Faso deepen bilateral partnership on economy and security
15-11-2018 11:50:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 10351 | Tags:

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, have strengthened the cooperation and partnership between the European Union and Burkina Faso at a meeting in Brussels.

Presidents Juncker and Kaboré discussed the cooperation between the European Union and Burkina Faso in the fields of the economy, security and culture. The two presidents also discussed the subject of the presidency of G5 Sahel, which Burkina Faso will hold next year, and the challenges faced by the country, particularly in the area of security.

President Juncker said: ‘The partnership between the European Union and Burkina Faso is very strong, and our meeting has been an excellent opportunity to underline this. We discussed our joint commitment to democracy, security, development and governance. Our cooperation is already yielding successful results which are benefiting the people of Burkina Faso, and we are committed to strengthening it further, in particular through our new Alliance with Africa to create investment and jobs, and our External Investment Plan.'

President Kaboré was then received by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, with whom he signed two new agreements to support culture and gender equality in Burkina Faso.

These new financial commitments form part of the EU's global cooperation with Burkina Faso, representing a total of around EUR 980 million between 2014 and 2020.

Commissioner Mimica said: ‘With these two new programmes worth EUR 15 million, the European Union makes a concrete commitment to job creation, investment, creativity and youth. For the young people of Burkina Faso, culture is a stimulating and promising sector in which the EU continues to invest, just as it does in gender equality, which is a necessary condition for sustainable and inclusive economic development'.

The first agreement, worth EUR 10 million, will make it possible to support the creative industries and governance in the field of culture in Burkina Faso.

The new programme covers the period 2018-2022 and focuses on job creation in priority cultural sectors such as film-making (cinema and video), the performing arts (music, theatre, story-telling, dance), artistic crafts and applied arts.

The second agreement, worth EUR 5 million, will strengthen the country's gender equality efforts. This support will make it possible to support the government's action in the following three areas: establishing a Burkina Faso state budget; combating gender-based violence; and women's participation in the political decision-making process.

These new financial commitments form part of the EU's global cooperation with Burkina Faso, representing a total of around EUR 980 million.

This amount includes funding under the European Development Fund (EUR 628 million), the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUR 190 million), the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (EUR 8 million), the regional funds under the Regional Indicative Programme (EUR 93 million) and the thematic actions, including support for civil society (EUR 21 million) and humanitarian aid (EUR 40 million).

The European Union actively supports Burkina Faso in the field of security in the Sahel region through several programmes, including budgetary support of EUR 50 million through the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to the government's Sahel Emergency Fund which targets security and development in the north of Burkina Faso; other Trust Fund projects worth around EUR 50 million and regional projects; support for reform of the security sector (EUR 8 million through the IcSP); and a new programme to support security and justice (EUR 12 million from 2019).

At regional level, Burkina Faso plays a key role in the G5 Sahel Joint Force (financed by the EU to the tune of EUR 100 million), particularly in view of its presidency of the G5 from January 2019.

Furthermore, in the spirit of the new Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs and the External Investment Plan, the EU finances several investment and infrastructure projects in Burkina Faso.