EU Grants €800 Million for EIP’s First Projects in Africa and Neighbourhood

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The EU has provided a package of financial guarantee programmes worth around €800 million as part of its External Investment Plan which will help to leverage an estimated €8-9 billion in public and private investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood.

This new programme 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.

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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.”

The External Investment Plan’s financial pillar consists of two parts: Guarantee Fund (for a total of €1.5 billion by 2020) for Sustainable Development. This is expected to leverage €8-9 billion of public and private investments and Blending Facilities (for a total of €2.6 billion by 2020) which will help to leverage up to €14.6 billion in investments. These programmes will cover areas such as transport, energy, environment, agriculture, urban development sectors and also improve access to finance for local micro, small and medium enterprises.

The EIP is also open for contributions from other donors, including EU Member States, third countries as well as private philanthropic actors. Discussions with such potential donors have proved the innovative, attractive and ambitious approach of the EIP. In this vein, the EU also welcomed the first major contribution from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, of around €53 million ($62 million). This will attract further investment to incentivise research and innovation in e-health in less developed and fragile environments.

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