Minister Jenes visits Ethiopia to strengthen cooperation between the European Union and Africa in the field of health outside

The Minister of Development Cooperation, Caroline Jennes, will travel on Sunday evening to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the headquarters of the African Union is located. It is a business trip that fits with our country’s presidency of the European Union. European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides will also participate in the working visit.

Representatives from various EU Member States, led by Belgium, will travel to the Ethiopian capital, with the main aim of strengthening cooperation between the European Union and the African Union in the field of health.

This concerns a large-scale EU working trip with representatives from eight Member States. On Monday, Caroline Guinness’ entire program was devoted to important consultations. Meetings are then scheduled with the Cypriot EU Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, and the African Union Commissioner for Health, Burkinabé Sssouma Minata Samati. Congolese Jean Cassia is also participating in the consultation. He is the Director-General of the African Union health agency, the CDC. In the morning there is a meeting about health. In the afternoon, humanitarian issues will be discussed.


These consultations should lead to concrete steps forward in health and improved cooperation between the EU and Africa. Several partnerships have been signed between the African CDC and French, German and Belgian development agencies.

Jenes explains why the partnership is important: “Health is a policy area where cooperation and knowledge-sharing provide benefits for all. We can only be healthy here in Europe if Africa is also healthy. African countries have great experience in containing new epidemics, and Europe with the best and most accessible healthcare in the world. The two regions share a vision that equal access to high-quality, affordable healthcare – including medicines and vaccines – is the foundation for a strong welfare state and sustainable development. This creates the conditions necessary to achieve real progress together, as partners “Equal.”

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This progress is urgently needed, because less than half of Africa’s citizens – some 615 million people – have access to the health care they need. Only 3% of all medicines and vaccines are produced on the African continent, even though it represents 11% of the world’s population.

Megan Vasquez

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