EU to give 6.5 bn euro support for trade in West Africa

Brussels, March 18: The Foreign Affairs Council of European Union (EU) Monday decided to provide 6.5 billion euros (about $9 billion) in supporting for trade in West Africa, Xinhua reported.

An EU conclusion agreed by the 28-member bloc’s foreign ministers said that the funds will greatly enhance trade and investment flows to West African countries from 2015 to 2020, thus contributing to their development, sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

According to the EU conclusion, the funds will be carried out under the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Program (PAPED), which is an essential element of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiated with West Africa, and will provide funding for projects linked to trade, industry, transport and energy infrastructure in the region, as well as through support to civil society.

In 2010, the EU pledged to provide 6.5 billion euros to support the PAPED for the period 2010-2014. This pledge was eventually increased and the EU has funded projects worth 8.2 billion euros.