European Commission to fund nine African human-rights projects

Nine African projects based throughout the continent focused on education, human and women's rights, crime prevention, environmental concerns and other issues will receive portions of over $164 million in funding pledged by the European Commission.

Part of the funds will go toward programs aimed at increasing the education and skills of workers in Africa's mines involving mineral exploration and mapping, geological surveys, and the development of mining data and infrastructure.

Other funding will go toward an initiative to give more African students access to higher education. In addition to making more staff available to assist students with post-graduate study programs, it will increase the visibility and offerings of the institutions that offer continuing education.

Other funded projects include an initiative of the African Human Rights System to stem discrimination and human rights violations, an international effort overseen by the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to stop female genital mutilation, implementation initiatives for a group of civil society organizations, a program to help African Union Institutions develop strategies and fully implement the Africa-EU partnership, a program to help quell transnational organized crime, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) & Africa initiative and a project to improve flight safety throughout the continent.

Funding for the projects was announced recently as part of the Pan-African Action Plan's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The European Commission represents and upholds the interests of the European Union as a whole. It is headed by 28 commissioners, one per country.

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