BRUSSELS, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The European Union announced Monday it will strengthen its energy cooperation with Cabo Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Rwanda and Togo.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is expected to sign joint declarations to that effect on Tuesday in New York.
"These agreements will aim to increase access to sustainable energy sources, even in rural areas where the needs are the greatest," the EU said in a statement Monday.
The EU has committed approximately $4.23 billion, including $2.57 billion earmarked for African countries, to support sustainable energy projects with partner countries during the 2014-2020 financial period.
"I am delighted that we are now joining forces with European and African countries that have decided to take the lead in the fight against energy poverty," Barroso said ahead of the signing.