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EU Is Lagging Behind in African Development Programs

Hungary Today 2023.09.06.

Hungary will pay particular attention to the Sahel region in the future, as it is a potential source of migration near Europe, the State Secretary responsible for programs to help persecuted Christians announced, reports Hirado.hu. Meanwhile, the European Union is lagging behind its global competitors regarding the region’s development programs.

Commenting on an informal meeting of EU development policy chiefs, Tristan Azbej said that countries in the African region have recently been plunged into armed conflict one after the other, most recently with a military coup in Niger.

Hungary was the first to call on the Nigerian parties to return to constitutional order,”

he stated. The state secretary said that development and humanitarian aid must be used to stop Niger from plunging into a full crisis and to preserve its overall stability. “If we do not do this, there could be unforeseeable consequences for migration from West Africa and the Sahel to Europe,” he emphasized.

Azbej pointed out that it was in the interests of both Hungary and the European Union that the main focus in neighboring crisis zones should not be on the escalation of war, but on the pursuit of a peaceful solution through development partnership.

A development partnership that does not reflect a kind of Western, ideologically colonizing, lecturing stance, but which, following the Hungarian example, seeks to stabilize these developing countries or those in crisis with mutual respect and partnership in the interests of all of us.”

The state secretary said that the participants agreed at the informal meeting that the European Union is lagging behind its global competitors in terms of international development partnerships, which it needs to catch up to through initiatives such as Team Europe or Global Gateway.


Team Europe Initiatives focus on identifying critical priorities that constrain development in a given country or region, where a coordinated and coherent effort by ‘Team Europe’ would ensure results with a transformative impact.

The Global Gateway stands for sustainable and trusted connections that work for people and the planet. It helps to tackle the most pressing global challenges, from fighting climate change and improving health systems, to boosting competitiveness and security of global supply chains. The European Commission and the EU High Representative have set out the Global Gateway, a new European strategy to boost smart, clean, and secure links in digital, energy, and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education, and research systems across the world.

Azbej also explained that he had presented the Hungary Helps program model, which has already brought Hungary’s assistance directly to more than 50 countries. The program is dedicated to “cases of war conflicts, humanitarian crises, natural disasters and not exclusively, but especially for the most persecuted religion in the world, the persecuted Christian communities. In this way, we have reached more than a million people with aid and helped them to stay in their homeland instead of migrating,” the secretary of state concluded.

The role of the Sahel region in Africa is becoming increasingly important in humanitarian, migration, security, and foreign economic terms.

The Hungarian government is therefore placing increasing emphasis on strengthening its political presence in the region. The Hungary Helps Program has launched humanitarian and economic development programs in several countries in the region, and consular presence in the region has also been strengthened.

Niger Crisis Could Have Serious Migration Consequences for Europe, Says State Secretary
Niger Crisis Could Have Serious Migration Consequences for Europe, Says State Secretary

Until the military coup, Niger was one of the last stable countries in the Sahel region.Continue reading

Featured photo via Facebook/Tristan Azbej

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