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Thursday, 22 September 2016

EU's new Africa fund aims to attract private investors to Sahel region

The European Union's new 44 billion euro (37.73 billion pounds) Africa fund aims to entice private investors to some of the world's poorest nations and slow mass migration to Europe, the EU's development chief Neven Mimica said. The fund, unveiled last week by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, could be up and running by mid-2017, Mimica said, and is based on a similar, larger fund for Europe already operating. It will rely mainly on private investors and development banks to fund selected commercial projects that might otherwise be considered too risky for funding by commercial lenders, Mimica told Reuters in an interview. "We would like to have new investments in primarily fragile, conflict-affected countries; risky markets where the investment would not come without such an investment scheme," he said. The fund's focus should be on the most fragile countries, particularly in the semi-arid Sahel region, where climate change, poverty and natural disasters are driving millions of people north to Europe's shores. "We are tackling the root causes of migration, because poverty is the root cause of migration," said Mimica.

Source: uk.reuters.com