ADDIS ABABA (HAN) May 30.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. By Robel Yohannes. The annual bilateral negotiations between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Government of Germany was concluded on Friday whereby the latter pledged additional 55.5 million Euro in support of the African Union (AU) flagship programs and joint strategic initiatives.
This year’s focus is largely on agricultural development program, which received the largest additional share of 29 million Euro.
On the occasion, Trade and Industry Commissioner with AUC Fatima Haram Acyl said that this particular support will go to agricultural, technical and vocational, education and training (TVET) areas in more than 10 African countries with special attention to women. “Support to women in Africa is always a big plus for us.”
Noting that that both parties have agreed to collaborate in the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), she said: “Germany has made an initial pledge of 5 million Euro to support us in this regard”.
In addition, the Commissioner said that they are looking for continued cooperation in the areas of peace and security, good governance, the Pan African University and Geo-Thermal Energy, to which Germany pledged 21 million Euro for these four areas.
Acyl further noted that AU will cooperate with German partners on the land policy initiative, on ways of supporting the Union’s specialized agency to offer insurance against climate calamity events to member states and promote exchange of African and German youth.
Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa who is also German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Head of the German Delegation Guenter Nooke said that the aim is to support AU in making substantial progress in the economic and political integration of Africa.
He added that economic transformation and skills development are core objectives of the joint cooperation because job creation is central to reduce poverty and tackle the root causes of migration.
In addition, he said that Germany will provide technical inputs with regard to CFTA, while continuing to support the establishment of the Pan-African University, in particular in the fields of water, energy and climate change campus in Algeria.
Highlighting the importance of AU role in the future of Africa, Joachim Schmidt, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the AU, for his part said that emerging challenges are facing the AUC and its organs to fully exercising its mandate and growing political influence which need to be addressed. “For that reason, Germany will contribute to support the Union, which altogether exceeds 500 million Euro.”
Furthermore, the Ambassador indicated that still it is not enough, and Germany encourages the AU to strengthen its capacities by mainly relying on the financial resources and political power mandated to it by member states.