Ethiopia, EU sign financing accord

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Addis Ababa, 6 February 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopia and the European Union have signed a 26.9 million euro financing agreement for four projects.

The agreement was signed by Finance and Economic Development State Minister Ahmed Shide and EU Development Cooperation Director Francesca Mosca.

The assistance is provided by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) which includes projects Trade Enhancement and Facilitation Programme, Civil Society Fund II, Women's Breakthrough and Technical Cooperation facility.

The agreement is intended to finance projects aimed at supporting gender equality and women empowerment (6.4 million euro), trade enhancement and facilitation activities (10 million euro), civil society organizations (6 million euro) and availing technical support (4.5 million euro).

Mosca said on the occasion that the assistance will give a further boost to Ethiopia's initiatives for economic growth and poverty reduction.

“EU-Ethiopia cooperation has yielded good results in the recent past and I look forward to achieving similar effects with these projects. I am particularly happy that the set of projects include due support for Civil Society Organization,as well as for facilitating women's business start-ups and market linkages,” she added.

State Minister Ahmed on his part said: “The crucial support of the EU in the roads, food security, coffee improvement, water supply and governance sector augments Ethiopia's effort of eradicating poverty and ensuring fast and sustainable development. The government of Ethiopia appreciates EU for its ever increasing support towards Ethiopia's growth and transformation as expressed not only by the allocation of substantial development assistance but also by the day-to-day close cooperation to ensure its timely utilization.”

When fully operational, the projects are expected to support the integration of Ethiopia into the world economy in order to enhance the contribution of trade to the country's growth and transformation.