President von der Leyen in Africa: College to College meeting in February 2020
Following President Ursula von der Leyen‘s first official visit outside Europe in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 7 December, it was agreed to hold the first College to College meeting of representatives of the African Union Commission and the European Commission in February 2020. The visit to Addis Ababa was an opportunity to further strengthen the EU-Africa partnership, based on mutual respect, promoting sustainable development, peace and security, as well as greater economic ties and tackling climate change. The visit comes ahead of next year’s EU-Africa Summit. Speaking in Addis Ababa, President von der Leyen said: “I have chosen Africa for my very first visit outside Europe to send a strong political message because the African continent and the African Union matter to the European Union. Today we have seen in our discussions that there is room for greater cooperation between Europe and Africa.” President von der Leyen met with African Union Commission Chairman, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, where she reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to boost cooperation at all levels. Read the full transcript of her press remarks at the joint press point with African Union Commission Chairperson Faki here. The President then held bilateral meetings with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde. Read the transcript of her press remarks following her meeting with the Ethiopian President here. President von der Leyen, accompanied by Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, also announced €170 million in new EU funding to support Ethiopia. Read the full press release on support to Ethiopia here.