PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2013 Selected
En Français
N°: 095/2013
9 April 2013 [Abuja - Nigeria]

ECOWAS, EU SIGN 76 MILLION-EURO AGREEMENT TO SUPPORT AFISMA, FREE MOVEMENT

							
	ECOWAS and the European Union on Tuesday, 9th April 2013 in Abuja, signed a 
grant agreement for 76 million Euros to support the African-led International 
Mission in Mali (AFISMA), and to strengthen the implementation of the regional 
protocol liberalizing the intra-community movement of citizens.

Fifty million of the grant will go mainly towards the payment of the salaries 
of the force while the remaining 26 million Euros will assist the region in 
addressing free movement and immigration issues.

The EU had pledged the grant during the donors’ conference hosted by ECOWAS on 
the margins of the AU summit in Addis Ababa on 29th January 2013.
The agreement was signed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His 
Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo and the Head of the EU delegation to 
Nigeria, Ambassador David MacRae on the sidelines of the ongoing three-day 9th 
ECOWAS/ Development Partners annual Coordination meeting which opened on 
Monday.

“The provision of the sum of 50 million euros has once again demonstrated the 
EU’s unwavering resolve to assisting ECOWAS in the management of the crisis in 
Mali and the consolidation of peace and security in West Africa,” the ECOWAS 
boss said at the signing ceremony.

He also paid tribute to the EU, whose team “worked assiduously to establish 
the finance cell in the Commission,” that will support ECOWAS in ensuring the 
fund is managed in line with EU procedures, adding that AFISMA is on the 
threshold of its consolidation and stabilization phase.

“I have no doubt that ECOWAS will still count on the support of the  EU and 
all other development partners for AFISMA and the Mali Security and Defence 
Forces in this most critical and logistics intensive phase, “ the president 
added.

He underscored the importance of the EU support for free movement and 
immigration in the region, saying this will “magnify the vital cooperation 
between ECOWAS and the EU in one aspect of the integration process.”

“For us to realize the dream of economic growth, regional development and 
integration, community citizens’ rights of entry, residence and establishment 
must be fully guaranteed and migration and labour mobility must be effectively 
coordinated and managed,” President Ouedraogo said.

While he acknowledged the challenges to the seamless implementation of the 
regional flagship protocol, he described the signing of the agreement as 
timely and would assist the region address some of the “critical priority 
areas identified for the seamless implementation of the Protocol.”
 
These are in the areas of strengthening the capacities of the Commission to 
promote intra-regional dialogue on free movement and migration issues and 
those of Member States in the area of migration data management, policy 
development, border management, labour migration management and human 
trafficking.

Responding, Ambassador MacRae said the signing “concretizes the pledge made 
during the donors conference and a demonstration of the EU commitment to 
supporting the long-term objective of assisting Mali fully restore state 
authority, law and order, in addition to providing necessary support to the 
stabilization process in the country at the political and military levels as 
well as contributing to its early recovery.”

He said the EU has also pledged to support the road map for the transition to 
democratic and constitutional rule, national inclusive dialogue as well as 
free and fair elections, and urged the Malian authorities to accelerate the 
full return to constitutional rule and the political reconstruction of the 
country.

As evidence of its support for Mali’s development, Ambassador MacRae said the 
EU has resumed development aid to the country for which 250 million euros is 
available from the European Development Fund, in addition to another 20 
million euros in fast-disbursing assistance from the EU’s Instrument for 
stability.

He praised ECOWAS for the swift deployment of regional troops in support of 
French and Chadian forces who are taking the battle against “terrorist and 
criminal groups to their retreat in the north of Mali with the long-term 
objective to fully restore state authority, law and order to that part of the 
country.”









 Send comments to: webmaster@ecowas.int
Created and maintained by the Community Computer Centre (CCC) in collaboration with the Department of Information

Copyright © ECOWAS 2003