EU High Representative Josep Borrell will be travelling to Ethiopia and Sudan from 27 February until 1 March. This will be the first visit to Africa during his mandate.
Ahead of his departure, HR/VP Borrell has stated: “We have entered a new era in our close partnership with Africa. This year will mark a milestone in giving a new impetus to our relationship with the continent. The upcoming AU-EU College-to-College meeting is an important step of a sequence that will culminate this year in October with an African Union – European Union Summit where we aim to finalise the adoption of a new comprehensive strategy with Africa that will reshape our mutually beneficial relations.”
In Addis Ababa, the HR/VP will participate in the College-to-College meeting during which the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and 20 Commissioners will meet with their counterparts of the African Union.
The visit will continue with bilateral discussions with Ethiopian authorities on 28 February, followed by a visit to Sudan on 29 February and 1 March. Amongst others, Josep Borrell will meet Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed, who was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Prime Minister of Sudan, Abdalla Hamdok.
The Horn of Africa is undergoing deep democratic transformations and moving towards consolidating peace throughout the region. These promising times offer opportunities and challenges for which the support of the international community, in particular the European Union, is of utmost importance.
In Khartoum and Darfur Josep Borrell will bring a message of support to the civilian transition. Since the agreement reached between the military and the civilian opposition movement in August 2019, Sudan has embarked on a 3-year political transition that represents a major step towards a civilian-led rule. The HR/VP will voice the EU’s active support in consolidating the civilian transition and in accompanying the country on its path of political and economic reforms.
Josep Borrell will also participate in an informal ministerial meeting of the EU with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development - the seven-country regional bloc of the Horn of Africa - to discuss peace and security issues in the region. In addition, the HR/VP will meet with students from the Khartoum University. In Darfur, the HR/VP will be received by the local authorities in El Fasher and pay a visit to a camp for Internal Displaced People where he will be holding talks with women’s groups, youth representatives and local leaders.