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The year 2022 saw the development cooperation partnership between Luxembourg and Benin deepen. In February, Minister Fayot paid a working visit to Benin, during which he held a working meeting with five Beninese ministers to discuss the potential for cooperation within the framework of the current Beninese Government Action Plan (2022-2026).

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He also had a meeting with Aurélien Agbénonci, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, which concluded with the signing of a letter of understanding that marks the formal launch of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Interventions by the Luxembourg Development Cooperation in Benin will align with the country’s development priorities and will aim in particular to promote the socio-economic integration of women and young people, financial inclusion, digital development, sustainable and inclusive growth and inclusive governance. In May 2022, a delegation from the Luxembourg Development Cooperation, composed of representatives of the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, the LuxDev agency and the NGO ADA, visited Benin to further explore specific partnership opportunities in the selected priority areas.

On 19 December 2022, Romuald Wadagni, Benin’s Minister for Economy and Finance, and Aurélien Agbénonci, Benin’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, paid a working visit to Luxembourg. At the conclusion of a bilateral discussion with the two Beninese ministers, Ministers Fayot and Agbénonci signed a general cooperation agreement between Luxembourg and the Republic of Benin.

In 2022, Luxembourg contributed to two existing bilateral programmes in Benin, in line with the current government action programme, with a total financial envelope of EUR 6 million. The first programme provides support for the establishment of 30 agricultural high schools through a contribution of EUR 3 million, implemented by the French development agency. The support of the Luxembourg Development Cooperation will make it possible to operationalise an integrated scheme for guidance, training and access and agricultural advice geared towards agricultural and rural employment for young people. The second programme consists of support for the agro-ecological transition and sustainable food systems in the Mono biosphere reserve through a contribution of EUR 3 million, implemented by Enabel for the European Union’s delegation as part of a Team Europe Initiative approach. The programme’s aim is to contribute to the inclusive, sustainable and climate-resilient territorial development of the Mono biosphere reserve and the Avlékété-Bouche du Roy marine protected area, in southern Benin on the border with Togo.

At the multilateral level, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation is contributing to the project for “the empowerment of young people for access to sexual and reproductive health and rights”, an agreement on which was signed with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) at the end of 2022, with a view to implementation for the 2023 to 2025 period. This project in the field of population, health and reproductive health policy has a budget of EUR 4.75 million and will be implemented by UNFPA with technical support from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).