EU commits €800 million towards Africa’s public and private investment

As part of its External Investment Plan, the EU has given its green light to a package of financial guarantee programmes worth around €800 million.

This will help to leverage an estimated €8-9 billion in public and private investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood.

The decision is a major milestone towards delivering investments in Africa and the Neighbourhood through the EU's External Investment Plan (EIP), which is expected to leverage €44 billion of investments through an EU contribution worth €4.1 billion.

The EIP aims to promote inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development and in this way to tackle some of the root causes of irregular migration.

One of the new programmes for example will benefit people who currently have difficulty borrowing money at affordable rates, such as internally displaced people, refugees or returnees.

Another programme will enable over 25,000 small businesses to access mobile accounts and long-term credit, in order to support the financial inclusion driven by diasporas, migrants' families and returnees.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "The EU's External Investment Plan has already started to bring real benefits to the people in our partner countries. These guarantee programmes for sustainable investment give now access to affordable loans to people who have been forced to flee their country and those who have recently returned home to rebuild their lives: to start small businesses or to have access to new technologies. This plan is about building a new present for many people and for their countries, it is about changing lives, now and for good."

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: "We are on the right track towards achieving our commitment under the External Investment Plan: Since its launch last September, we have mobilised €800 million in guarantees and €1.6 billion in blending, which will overall translate into over €22 billion public and private investments. This will support much needed investment in sustainable development and decent job creation particularly in Africa."

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: “We want to see the new EU guarantees that we have announced translate into concrete, innovative and sustainable projects on the ground, making a real change for the people. More prosperity in the EU's immediate neighbourhood is not only good for our European economies and businesses. It is a long-term investment in the stability and security of our partners in the neighbourhood and for Europe" - ABC