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EU Commissioner Piebalgs visits Togo to encourage further progress on governance and economic development

By European Commission

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, November 18, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- On the 20 November, European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will arrive in Togo for a two-day visit to look at the country's progress and challenges in the wake of renewed development cooperation with the EU, post-2007.

The Commissioner will also take part in the 22nd Session of the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which takes place in Lomé from 19 until 23 November and brings together Members of the European Parliament and the elected representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. The Commissioner will also meet, President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé and Prime Minister, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, amongst others.

After a long suspension of development cooperation between 1993 and 2007 due to the political situation, the EU and Togo resumed full cooperation at the end of 2007. Together with the government, the Commissioner will take stock of the first results of the renewed cooperation during the visit and look ahead at the priorities which are necessary to foster economic development and consolidate democracy.

Prior to his departure, Commissioner Piebalgs said: " Since EU resumed its cooperation with Togo, we have already seen promising results in a number of key sectors such as public finance and education, where the percentage of the population able to read and write has increased from 56% to 70% in just 5 years ".

He added: " However , whilst I will reaffirm our commitment towards the country and its people, I will also plead for an acceleration of reforms to foster sustainable development. We will support Togo in its efforts to consolidate good governance, the respect of human rights as well as to unlock the untapped potential of Togolese economy " .

The Commissioner will also announce a new funding of €7.2 million to foster macroeconomic reforms and improvement in public finance management in order to contribute to poverty reduction

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