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EU: € 800 M for African investment vehicle

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

EU: € 800 M for African investment vehicle

The EU’s much vaunted private investment vehicle in Africa has moved a step closer to becoming reality after €800 million was unlocked to leverage multi-billion euro investments on the continent. At a meeting on July 10, the board of the European Fund for Sustainable Development gave its green light to a package of financial guarantee programmes worth around €800 million as part the bloc’s External Investment Plan (EIP). The European Commission says this will help to leverage an estimated €8-9 billion in public and private investment, predominantly in Africa. Modelled on the so-called Juncker Investment Plan, the EIP promises to leverage €44 billion of investment by channelling capital and guarantees worth €4.1 billion from the EU budget through national and development finance institutions. The first projects under the scheme will focus on renewable energy and increasing access to mobile accounts and credit, via partnerships with the African Development Bank and Spanish and Italian banks. The EU executive says that the programme is likely to be heavily over-subscribed. “We’ve had huge interest from financial actors. Much more than the budget will allow,” a Commission official told EURACTIV. However, the Commission is not expected to sign the programme’s first contracts until later this year, nearly two years after Jean-Claude Juncker launched the EIP.