Spain offers $44 million for projects in African Union


Addis Ababa : Spain has offered 30 million euros ($44.3 million) to the African Union to carry out peace and political stability projects in the continent, Spain’s news agency EFE reported Wednesday.

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Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos made the announcement after he arrived in Ethiopia, the last stop on an African tour that has taken him to Mali, Guinea Bissau and the Congo.

Moratinos’ visit comes in response to Madrid’s desire to express its support to the AU on the occasion of its annual summit that is being held in Addis Ababa this week.

After his arrival in Addis Ababa, Moratinos met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to review bilateral relations.

The Spanish government intends to donate 30 million euros over the next three years to be spent on social projects like health and food security.

“We want to send the signal of a new policy, a new outlook, a new commitment of Spain to Africa,” Moratinos said.

Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa with more than 75 million people, and one of the world’s poorest nations.

The African Union (AU) of 53 states was formed in 2002 after the model of the European Union (EU) for greater political and economic integration and more efficient mobilisation of resources. It was formed as a successor to the amalgamated African Economic Community (AEC) and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)