Since 1994, Rwanda has made progress in restoring peace and security, fostering national reconciliation, establishing the foundations for democracy and reforming its institutions. However, dominated by agriculture, the economy lacks diversification. Annual growth rates are particularly vulnerable to changing weather patterns and fluctuating commodity prices.
A small group of islands in the Gulf of Guinea, São Tomé e Príncipe is among world’s least developed counties (LDC). The economy is heavily dependent on plantation agriculture, with cocoa representing the bulk of exports.
In the past, debt servicing has swallowed export revenues and triggered inflation. However, the country is politically stable and it is following an active strategy to reduce poverty. EU support focuses on improving the state of national road networks and ports.
A factor of stability in West Africa by its democratic tradition, Senegal serves as the bridge of the Western world to the countries of West Africa. In terms of security, Senegal is committed to the fight against terrorism and organised crimes.
The Republic of the Seychelles is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) situated in the Western Indian Ocean. It has middle-income country status and a high level of human development linked to a long-standing policy to invest in social protection. Tourism and fisheries – the pillars of the economy – are intrinsically linked to the country's pristine natural marine environment which, in turn, makes the island extremely vulnerable to climate change and human activities of potential harm to ecosystems.
The EU is assisting the implementation of the government’s transitional economic development programme. After two devastating civil wars (1989-1996 and 1999-2003), this programme is consolidating national peace and putting the West African nation on a path of poverty reduction. Civil war destroyed the country’s infrastructure and significantly eroded a once large human capital base. The country is rich in resources but poor in terms and of revenue and human capital to provide basic services to the population.
Small in population and size, the Kingdom of Lesotho takes up a unique position on the African continent. Landlocked by the region’s largest economy, South Africa, the country has few exploitable natural resources and a limited agricultural potential. Poverty is multi-faceted and deeply entrenched in Lesotho, which belongs to the world's Least Developed Countries with a third of its population barely surviving under half of the poverty line. Positive development trends have been reserved but the rapidly spreading prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
As a regional hub for trade and finance, Kenya plays an important role in East African regional development. However governance, uneven commitment to reform and a complex political situation have hampered economic growth and equitable social development, and an estimated 34-42% of Kenyans is still poor.
Poverty reduction can only be achieved through sustained economic growth which addresses equitable income and wealth distribution, improved access to social services, human rights and political participation.
Following a coup in December 2008, the EU suspended cooperation with Guinea under article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement relating to measures that can be taken in the event of the non-respect of the agreement’s fundamental and essential elements.
The main areas of EU support to Guinea Bissau are: conflict prevention, water, energy and general budget support for macro-economic stability.
The EU has allocated €102.8 million to Guinea Bissau under the 10th European Development Fund (2008-13). The aims are to:
Ghana is well-placed to meet some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It has already qualified as a lower middle-income country, has shown robust GDP growth and has experienced peaceful transitions of power following democratic elections.
The Gambia continues to be characterized by political stability and the absence of religious tensions, although the situation of human rights, democracy and rule of law, raises real concerns. These issues are addressed in a dialogue under article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement since end of 2009, but with little concrete progress.
Rich in natural resources, with significant reserves of oil, wood, iron ore and manganese, Gabon is now an upper-middle income country characterised by political and macroeconomic stability. However, poverty is still widespread. EU cooperation focusses on improving basic infrastructure and education.
Ethiopia has seen more than 10 years of rapid economic development growth but it is still among the world’s group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Its challenges include: food insecurity, a rapidly growing population, environmental pressures exacerbated by climate change, a small industrial base, and a range of governance issues.
Eritrea achieved independence in 1993, following a 30-year war of liberation. Initially socio-economic progress was observed. The 1198-2000 border war with Ethiopia, not only claimed tens of thousands of lives, but also disrupted Eritea's development momentum.
Approximately two- thirds of the population lives below the poverty line. Eritrea ranks 181st out of 186 in the 2012 Human Development Index. The harsh domestic living conditions increasingly puch people to migrate out of the country.
The EU does not have a Delegation in Equatorial Guinea. The delegation in Libreville (Gabon) is accredited with the authorities there and monitors the situation. The local EU presidency rotates between EU countries represented in the country (same as before the Lisbon treaty).
Djibouti has very high poverty indicators and low social indicators for a middle income country in East Africa that is small and politically stable.
Djibouti's economy is predominantly service-based, with a tiny agricultural sector and little industry. Due its geographical position at tip of the Horn of Africa and at the entrance to the Red Sea, its ports and free zones are important to the whole region. EU cooperation focusses on the water and sanitation sector and energy.
Côte d'Ivoire emerges from prolonged violent conflicts, of which the post-election crisis is the latest episode. Alassane Ouattara could undertake his role as President in 2011, only after the intervention of the armed ex-rebels New Forces ("Nouvelles Forces"). The security context still remains fragile.
The Republic of Congo is a country with a good development potential due to rich natural resources but which are not converted sufficiently in sustainable development for improving poverty.
Situated in the Western Indian Ocean Mozambique Channel, Comoros consists of three small islands that host a population of around 700,000, giving it a very high population density. Comoros is one of the least developed countries in the world, ranking third from last in the 2013 Global Hunger Index, with 45% of the population living under the poverty line.
A landlocked country in the heart of Central Africa, Chad is one of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). Its economy is mainly dependent on the primary sector. The Doba oil fields started operating at the end of 2003. However, oil-generated revenue is not invested in poverty reduction strategies.