Program that Creates Economic Opportunities to Ethiopia, Sudan Regional States to be Launched

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ENA November 19/2019 A cross-border collaboration program funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa and Germany (IGAD) with a view of reducing conflict and improving the overall living conditions of people in Western Ethiopia and Eastern Sudan will be launched next week, according to a press release of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit). 

The 23.8-million-Euros program, which will be launched on November 26, 2019, will develop and enhance economic opportunities in the border areas of Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State and the Blue Nile State of Sudan.

According to the press release, the program is supporting initiatives for improving agriculture production, social infrastructure, vocational training, conflict transformation, and cross-border cooperation, mainly targeting the economic needs of young people and women.

The goal of the program is to strengthen the population’s resilience to instability and displacement as a result of climatic and economic shocks, it was learned.

With some delay due to political dynamics in Sudan and violent conflicts in Ethiopia, implementation is now ongoing in the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State as well as in the Blue Nile State.

The border area between Benishangul-Gumuz in western Ethiopia and the Blue Nile State in eastern Sudan is home to over 1.6 million people, the majority of whom live in rural areas.

The first Advisory Council meeting of the program, in which officials from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Peace, Sudan’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as well as representatives from IGAD, and EU, will be convened on November 27, 2019 in the regional capital Assosa.