BRUSSELS – PRN Africa — Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, signed financing agreements with Kenya, together with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. The support provided will focus, amongst others, on supporting smallholder agriculture through access to finance, training or market integration. Commissioner Mimica stated: “These projects, worth a total of €104 million, will have a real and tangible impact for Kenyan small holder farmers and for Kenyan people in general. In some of the dry parts of rural Kenya, farmers risk losing their crops or cattle during periods of drought. The Climate proofed water supply programme and the support to market integration of small holder farmers will help ease such problems.”
The first project, worth € 20 million, aims to provide water and sanitation facilities to close to 400,000 people in arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya through the Climate proofed water supply programme. Local governments, some 40 villages and the private sector will work in partnership to construct and manage medium sized water supply and public sanitation facilities. The project will engage and benefit women and will ensure that organizational structures are in place to ensure the sustainability of the infrastructure.
A €50 million project will support smallholder agriculture in Kenya, notably by helping it to increase productiveness, better adapt to evolving challenges and to integrate better into relevant markets. It will provide better access to finance, training and market integration to small holder farmers to allow them to graduate from subsistence farming. Finally, €34 million will be allocated to a programme for legal empowerment and aid delivery in Kenya, which targets 12 counties in the country. The project will address how the marginalisation of communities could be linked to their exposure to criminal activities, including radicalisation.
These projects were signed at the margins of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly that took place in Nairobi. At this occasion, Commissioner Mimica discussed the European Commission’s recent proposal for a renewed partnership between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and the European Union, to follow the Cotonou Agreement which comes to an end in 2020. The Commission is proposing to maintain an umbrella agreement with the ACP region, based on shared values, objectives and approaches. This would go together with regional tailored partnerships for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which address the specific regional opportunities and challenges faced.
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) brings together members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Members of Parliament (MP) from 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states that have signed the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP-EU cooperation and development work. The current Cotonou Agreement will expire in 2020. Following extensive internal and external consultations and evaluations, the European Commission’s proposals for a renewed ACP-EU partnership were presented in November this year. This was alongside a package of proposals on the implementation of the new 2030 sustainable development agenda – both within the European Union and in relationships with partner countries abroad through a new ‘European Consensus for Development.’
The European Commission’s proposal foresees an enlarged partnership beyond the current ACP grouping could be considered to involve neighbouring countries and regions to increase cooperation and the collective impact on matters where ACP countries have a shared interest. This could mean building links with the countries of North Africa, the few remaining Least Developed and Small Island Development States and other relevant regional actors. This new approach is to be accompanied by the appropriate legal and institutional framework.
The proposal also foresees a more diverse, more comprehensive and more representative partnership, which means reaching out to both non-state actors, such as civil society, economic and social partners, and the private sector, but also to state actors at all levels of local, national and regional governance. In this respect parliaments play a vital role as the backbone of democracy and should be involved fully at all levels of decision-making.
Copyright European Union, 1995-2016
SOURCE European Commission
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