Minister Coveney begins 3 day visit to the Horn of Africa
News06 November 2017
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade begins 3-day visit to the Horn of Africa
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., today begins a 3-day visit to the Horn of Africa region. Minister Coveney’s trip will include visits to Ethiopia and Kenya, where he will meet with national and regional leaders to discuss Ireland’s and the EU’s political, economic, development and humanitarian engagement in the region and across the wider African continent. He will also meet with Irish companies doing business in the region and members of the Irish diaspora.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Minister Coveney said:
“Ireland has historically maintained a significant footprint in the Horn of Africa region, in particular through our resident embassies in both Ethiopia and Kenya, and in supporting our UN, NGO and missionary organisations on the ground for decades, helping those most in need.
Minister Coveney added:
“Ireland provides significant development and humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa region through the Irish Aid programme. The region continues to reel from back-to-back seasons of poor and erratic rains and severe drought. The devastating effects of climate change, together with conflict, violence, inter-ethnic tensions, and lack of livelihood opportunities for a rapidly growing young population has caused, and is continuing to cause, massive population displacement in the region and rising levels of hunger and malnutrition”
During the visitMinister Coveney will also meet with high-level representatives of international and regional organisations including the United Nations, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to discuss the inter-locking challenges facing the region and current political and security issues.
Minister Coveney said:
“It is vital that the EU steps up political engagement with Africa in the coming years, and I believe Ireland can play a central role in revitalising this partnership. Closer cooperation is vital if we are to ensure greater prosperity and stability on both continents.”
6 November 2017
Note to the editor:
- Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas development assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see www.irishaid.ie
- Ireland’s Embassies in Ethiopia and Kenya manage bilateral development cooperation programmes. Ireland’s bilateral country programme in Ethiopia is the largest and this year amounts to €29 million.
- In addition to these bilateral country programmes in the Horn region, Ireland also has a history of providing longer-term development support through civil society and missionary organisations on the ground, particularly in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia, and Sudan.
- Ireland also provides significant amounts of humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa region, totalling almost €130 million since 2012 to date, including €29 million last year.
- The African Union (AU) is a continental union established to promote peace, security, and stability on the continent, accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent.
- The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a Horn of Africa regional organisation working to promote regional cooperation and integration. Its member states are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.