The European Investment Bank (EIB) is expected to increase its Africa financing to €4 billion (N$65.2 billion at an exchange rate of 16.3) in 2020. Looking ahead, the EIB expects to significantly increase engagement in both sub-Saharan and North Africa and to provide the €4 billion to support public and private investment across the continent in 2020.
This will include increased support for infrastructure that drives private sector growth, enabling job creation by entrepreneurs, start-up companies and corporates, and new financing for climate-related investment and sustainable development. Last year, the EIB provided €3 billion (N$48.9 billion) of new financing to support €10.7 billion (over N$174 billion) of transformational investment across Africa.
“Africa is a key priority for the European Union and the European Investment Bank. The European Investment Bank is committed to working with African partners to accelerate and expand new investment that delivers sustainable development, tackles the climate emergency, creates jobs and improves lives across Africa. The €3 billion of new investment in Africa, supported by the EU bank in 2019, builds on 57 years of engagement across 52 African countries. In recent months, the EIB has launched pioneering new initiatives to accelerate new investment essential to enabling women to fully participate in the economic activity under the pioneering SheInvest programme to ensure African innovation companies can expand and to combine our financial understanding with philanthropy to tackle malaria,” said Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank president.
The EU bank’s engagement in Africa is expected to enhance economic opportunities, accelerate sustainable development, ensure access to finance, communications, clean water and clean energy for millions of people across the continent, and be reinforced with European Union engagement and policy priorities.
“The impact of EIB engagement in Africa is enhanced by our unique global technical, sector and financial experience, the expertise of EIB teams in our nine African offices and close cooperation with local project partners,” added Hoyer.
The European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, directly supported 58 new investment projects located in 22 African countries and, in cooperation with both African and international financial partners, backed projects in many other countries across the continent through regional financing programmes.
“The EU bank is continually increasing the impact of investment that supports sustainable development and addressing climate change in Africa. New support confirmed last year is providing thousands of schools and health centres with reliable electricity for the first time, ensuring African farmers in the Sahel, eastern and southern Africa can access finance, providing clean water for millions of people in the Sahel and Southern Africa, and upgrading sustainable transport in Africa’s largest city and the island state of São Tomé and Príncipe. The EIB also agreed on new cooperation with experienced African financial institutions – that is delivering hundreds of small-scale clean energy, digital, education, health and micro-finance schemes across the continent. By sharing technical, business and banking expertise through training programmes, the EIB is making it possible to strengthen the skills of thousands of African entrepreneurs and financial professionals,” said Ambrose Fayolle, European Investment Bank vice president responsible for development.
Combining engagement to
support sustainable investment
In recent years, alongside close technical and financial cooperation with the European Commission, the EIB has provided more than €12 billion (over N$195 billion) for new financing in Africa in cooperation with international and European development finance partners, including the African Development Bank, World Bank and EBRD, as well as Dutch, French and German development finance agencies.
The EIB is also working closely with UN Habitat to improve water infrastructure in communities around Lake Victoria, UNHCR to ensure refugees can access finance in Uganda, and UNIDO to support private sector development.
Enabling private enterprise to flourish
Last year, the EIB provided more than €1.8 billion (almost N$30 billion) to support private sector investment across Africa, representing 60% of overall engagement on the continent.
This included €500 million (some N$8.1 billion) of new dedicated support for African start-up companies’ engagement in digital, agribusiness, financial inclusion and health services.