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The European Investment Bank in Southern Africa

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Tuesday, 06 April 2010

The European Investment Bank in Southern Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) agreed to set up a joint technical assistance programme to improve the preparation and implementation of infrastructure projects. This recognises the need for national and local infrastructure agencies to be able to prepare and implement high quality and viable projects capable of gaining public and private financial support and that the lack of well planned and formulated projects is hindering economic development.The EUR 6m (ZAR 61.2m) programme, including EUR 3m from the European Investment Bank and EUR 3m from DBSA, will primarily target countries across southern and eastern Africa with a specific focus on improving infrastructure project preparation in the transport, energy, water and sanitation, urban and ICT sectors.The DBSA-EIB Project Development and Support Facility (PDSF) was signed in Johannesburg by European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa Plutarchos Sakellaris and Development Bank of Southern Africa Chief Executive Officer Paul Baloyi. Speaking at the signing ceremony Plutarchos Sakellaris said: “The European Investment Bank looks forward to working with DBSA to address the fundamental deficit in infrastructure in many parts of Africa that limits access to basic services. We wish to strengthen our long relationship with DBSA and collaborate to improve infrastructure project preparation and implementation in order to reduce the infrastructure backlog in key areas.”Paul Baloyi added, “The 15 year long relationship with EIB has now evolved to a new level of cooperation and co-funding by the signing of this agreement. This facility will enable the two institutions to advance priority projects in the region as required and ensure broader benefit. The potential in the region is huge, but it hinges on unlocking the opportunities.”The Project Development and Support Facility will focus on high development impact projects, notably also investing in rehabilitation measures, while promoting climate change resilience of existing infrastructure. Projects arising from regional economic and energy initiatives, recommended by the European Commission Delegations or bilateral agencies are also targeted. The Facility will fund studies and consultancy services that will advance preparation, financing and implementation of infrastructure projects that would not otherwise reach financial or legal closure, and EIB involvement at an earlier stage will enable more efficient use of other forms of technical assistance where appropriate.

Source: European Investment Bank