Visit to Ethiopia by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Commissioner Lenarčič to strengthen EU-Africa Partnership

© European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Janez Lenarčič© European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Janez Lenarčič

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič are on an official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 8-9 October 2020. The mission aims to keep up the momentum of a strengthened EU-AU partnership and coincides with a new delivery of 7.5 tons of coronavirus testing kits donated by Germany as part of ‘Team Europe’ efforts to help partners to deal with the pandemic.

“Africa is our natural partner and neighbour. To face common challenges, we need a strong Africa, and Africa needs a strong Europe. This visit is an opportunity for exchanges with the African Union and the Ethiopian Government. In these difficult times strained by the pandemic, the EU, together with its Member States, has demonstrated solidarity by mobilising an unprecedented Team Europe effort with Africa. Delivering these testing kits shows yet again that we are tackling the pandemic on all fronts,” said Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“This final delivery of life-saving testing equipment to the African Union wraps up the first phase of the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge, which has provided crucial support these past months to vulnerable countries amidst the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the EU is providing close to €47 million for humanitarian projects in Ethiopia, including assistance to internally displaced people uprooted by violence or natural disasters. We stand by the Ethiopian people and will continue to help those in need,“ said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.

High level meetings

During their visit, the High Representative and the Commissioner will have a number of exchanges with their counterparts from the African Union and Ethiopian Government. The High Representative will discuss topics such as preparation of the EU-African Union Summit in 2021, peace and security cooperation, as well as bilateral issues within the EU-Ethiopia strategic partnership. In addition, the High Representative and the Commissioner will visit several EU-supported humanitarian projects: an IOM migrant transit centre in Addis Ababa, and various sites in Ethiopia, including a camp for internally displaced people.

EU Humanitarian Air Bridge

The High Representative and the Commissioner participated this morning in a handover ceremony delivering 7.5 tons of coronavirus testing kits to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. In total, the EU has made available almost 1.4 million tests for the extraction and the detection of the virus to African countries. 


EU-Africa Partnership

The EU and its Member States are Africa’s first partner in trade, economic and development cooperation, providing €25 billion in 2018, representing 58% of the total Official Development Assistance to Africa. In 2019, 30.7 % of Africa’s trade in goods took place with the EU. The coronavirus pandemic has further demonstrated the need for a strong EU-Africa partnership to tackle the global threats that both our continents face.

In the Joint Communication of 9 March, Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa and the Council Conclusions on Africa of 30 June, the EU laid out some of its priorities and aspirations for the future of our continent-to-continent partnership. The upcoming EU-African Union Summit, planned for 2021, will be a milestone on the path to take our partnership to the next level.

During his visit, the High Representative and the Commissioner will meet Prime Minister Abyi to discuss the scope of the EU’s and Ethiopia’s bilateral cooperation as well as Ethiopia’s current political situation. They will also meet President Sahle-Work and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu.

Team Europe support during coronavirus

The test kits delivered by the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight are part of a €10 million immediate support package to the African Union by the German Government in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The delivery is part of the larger Team Europe support to the African continental response to the coronavirus. The total Team Europe global response package stands at €36.5 billion, combining resources from the EU, its Member States, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Team Europe Global Response supports African countries with at least €6.8 billion. Additionally, a considerable part of the overall Team Europe guarantees of €2.9 billion will also benefit Africa.

For more information

Joint Communication of 9 March, Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa

Council Conclusions on Africa of 30 June


EU Delegation to Ethiopia

EU Delegation to the African Union

EU Humanitarian Air Bridge

EU Humanitarian Aid in Ethiopia