Bamako, Mali, 6 October 2018 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas assured to Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali, that supporting the people of Mali, helping them establish a safe living environment, and giving prospects for a better future in their homeland is important for Estonia.
According to Ratas, supporting African countries in strengthening their public order, establishing human rights, recovering economy, and creating jobs is the only sustainable solution for people not leaving their homes nor falling for smugglers, and securely returning to their homelands. “Estonia gladly shares the experiences in e-governing with Mali and all countries of the African Union to help them recover their economy and create jobs for young people,” Ratas said.
At the end of last year, Prime Minister Ratas signed a memorandum of mutual understanding with the African Union for the development of e-governance. Representatives from Mali have visited Estonia several times to familiarise themselves with the possibilities provided by e-governing.
Development is inhibited in Mali by extreme poverty, frequent famine, violent extremism, and illegal migration as well as the organised crime that is related to that. According to the European External Action Service, there are 61,400 internally displaced persons in Mali, and 138,000 refugees from Mali live in neighbouring countries.
This year, Estonia has supported Mali with over 50,000 euros through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Estonia has contributed nearly 4.7 million euros to the development of Africa through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and other development and humanitarian aid projects.
Yesterday, in Bamako, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and General Riho Terras, Commander of the Defence Forces, also met with leaders of the United Nations stabilization mission MINUSMA, General Dennis Gyllensporre, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, and Brigadier General Enrique Millán Martínez, Commander of the EU training mission (EUTM Mali).
Three Estonian staff officers are deployed to the UN MINUSMA mission, and a total of four instructors and staff officers are deployed to the EUTM in Mali. There is also an Estonian expert in Mali who works as an adviser on human rights and gender equality on the EU civilian mission EUCAP Sahel. The prime minister assured that participation in both missions is very important and Estonia will continue on the same course in the future as well.
Today, Ratas and Terras will travel to Gao, Northern Mali, to acquaint with the work of the Estonian troops in the French-led anti-insurgent operation Barkhane.
Photos (Government Communication Unit): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tx17tji1ticgjj8/AADfsMpiWPNd9CRnzrCSypq9a?dl=0