Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A9 Directorate for sub-Saharan countries
All forty-seven sub-Saharan countries fall under the jurisdiction of this Directorate. Greece maintains especially friendly relations with them, and has signed several Agreements in the fields of Economic and Technical Co-operation, Tourism, Agricultural Co-operation, etc. By power of these Agreements, many African students are attending courses in Greek Universities, Colleges and Technical Institutes as holders of scholarships offered by the Greek Government, which, also, offers scholarships for military training, thus enabling many Africans determined to follow military careers, to study in the Military Academies of Greece.
There are eight Greek Embassies in the sub-Saharan area, namely in Addis Ababa, Harare, Khartoum, Kinshasa, Lagos, Nairobi, Pretoria and Yaounde. These Embassies have parallel jurisdiction to neighbouring countries and thus Greece is represented in all African sub-Saharan states. Furthermore, Honorary Consulates have been established in almost all of the remaining countries.
Greeks have been attracted to Africa since the ancient times. It is known, for instance, that Pythagoras, the remarkable mathematician, mastered his science in collaboration with the ancient Egyptian scientists, in Egypt - the latter being considered by ancient Greeks an African country. The beginning, however, of Greek settlement in Africa dates back to the 1860s ; they initially settled, among other countries, in Egypt, Ethiopia, the Sudan and South Africa, although most of them moved to the African continent after World War I.
Presently, the largest Greek communities are found mainly in South Africa (70,000 - 80,000), Zimbabwe (3,500), D.R. Congo (700), Malawi (250), Ethiopia (250), Cameroon (200) and Nigeria (150).
Ecclesiastically, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria (one of the most ancient ones) spreads its jurisdiction all over sub-Saharan Africa as well. There are eight Archdioceses, covering the religious needs of both Greek and native people, and namely those of Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Harare, Johannesburg, Kampala Khartoum, Kinshasa and Nairobi.
The A9 Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has participated actively in the elaboration of the common foreign and security policy, of the European Union, regarding developments in the 47 countries of the Sub - Saharan part of the African continent.
During the springtime period of the current year, warlike situations have existed in the central part of the continent, i.e. the areas surrounding the Great Lakes of Africa together with the whole territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as between the principal countries of the Horn of Africa. The above, in addition to the civil wars and disturbances ravaging countries like Angola, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and others. The EU's efforts have been crowned with success in some cases but, much remains to be done till the stabilization ofthe situation in this subcontinent.
The beginning ofthe year is the time for scheduling scholarships, to beoffered to foreign students for the next academic year. The Directoráte's suggestions have been accepted and in this way, a number of students from Africa will enroll in Greece's universities and milita academies, next September.
The organizational details ofthe proposed European Union - Africa summit,ŝaŝ a major event ofthe next - millennium - year are cu§ently under consideration. Decisions will be taken in the next few months and, the A9 Directorate will have some propositions to make before the bodies, competent for the CFSP ofthe European Union.