EU Africa Working Group On A Four Day Visit To Nigeria

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Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

Members of the Council of European Union Africa Working Party (COAFR) are expected to meet with some Nigerian authorities on a four day working visit to the capital city, Abuja and Lagos.

They are expected to meet with government agencies, civil society groups, regional and international organisations and the private sector.

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According to a statement on Sunday, the visit scheduled from February 26 to 29, 2024, will see members of the COAFR have sessions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, among others.

The COAFR is expected to meet with Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Consuls General of EU Member States, and the leadership of the European Business Chamber (EuroCham) Nigeria in Lagos.

They will also visit several EU-funded projects in the state, featuring digital and innovation, critical infrastructure and connectivity and migration. Deliberations during the meetings will centre on further boosting EU-Nigeria partnership.

The team will commence a similar visit to the neighbouring Republic of Benin at the end of its current mission in Nigeria.

COAFR’s visits to African countries aim at promoting direct contact, mutual information exchange and feedback between the political and foreign policy organs of the EU and their African counterparts.

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They play an important role in taking stock of state and non-state actors’ views, perspectives, aspirations and expectations regarding their partnership with the EU, its closest neighbour and its sister continent.

COAFR is mandated with the supervision and management of EU’s external policy towards the 46 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the African Union (AU) and other sub-regional organisations.

It is composed of representatives of all 27 EU member states, chaired by a permanent member of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and assisted by representatives of the commission and the general secretariat of the council.

This is the group’s first ever working visit to Nigeria, noting that in addition to the representatives of 17 EU member states, officials from EU institutions are expected to be in the team.

This year’s working visit will be the eleventh visit of the COAFR to the African continent, and the third visit to West Africa – following earlier visits to Senegal and Burkina Faso (2015) and Ivory Coast and Ghana (2019).

Last October, the EU’s Commissioner for International Partnership, Ms. Jutta Urpilainen and her counterpart for Energy, Ms. Kadri Simson, led other top officials to participate in the EU-Nigeria Strategic Dialogue Meeting held in Abuja.

Also, the Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Ms Helena Konig, and the Managing Director, Africa at the EEAS, Ms. Rita Laranjinha, were in the country prior to that time.

This followed visits in 2022 of EU’s Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager in February 2022, EU and Member States Maritime Security Coordinators in April 2022 and senior officials of the European Commission in charge of Energy and Home Affairs.

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