Neven Mimica, the EU’s Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, is conducting an official visit to Mauritius.
Commissioner Mimica met with Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and other members of the Mauritius government; and announced a funding contribution from the EU totalling €7.9 million, to be directed towards preventing and mitigating unemployment and promoting research and innovation. The EU and Mauritius are in a close, collaborative partnership covering a number of sectors, including climate change reduction; maritime security and fisheries management; investment and trade; human rights; gender equality and women’s empowerment; and cybersecurity.
Commissioner Mimica said: “The EU has a long-standing relationship with Mauritius, which we believe has made a difference in the country’s development success story. We stand ready to further support Mauritius and today’s €7.9 million programme shows our commitment. It will support employability, education and innovation, and will contribute to the Africa-Europe Alliance ultimate goal of creating sustainable jobs.”
The funding programme, implemented as part of the 2014-2020 European Development Fund, will be allocated across two main areas:
- Boosting provision of vocational training and post-secondary education facilities in order to improve employment opportunities for young people in Mauritius, particularly those in vulnerable groups; and
- Promoting increased collaboration between academia and industry with the aim of enhancing the region’s capacity for applied research and innovation, with particular support extended to research and development in the field of nanotechnology – this is projected to mobilise private investment and encourage the provision of jobs in the sector.
The EU is Africa’s largest partner in development, international trade and foreign investment. The Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, augmenting what the European Commission called a “long-standing political partnership between the two continents”, aims to boost strategic investment in the private sector across Africa and promote wider uptake of education and skills training, in order to improve jobs markets and invest in people.