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AfDB & EIB join forces to boost Africa’s infrastructure investment

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a joint partnership action plan highlighting their strengthened cooperation and mutual development priorities and a strong shared emphasis on boosting public and private sector investment in Africa.

The Joint Action Plan enables both institutions to grow a shared pipeline of bankable projects around key complementary themes to which each institution would bring their comparative advantage.

These themes are: climate action and environmental sustainability; transformative large-scale quality infrastructure investment; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and services; financial inclusion with a gender lens aimed at the empowerment of girls and women; education and training; and the health sector.

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AfDB acting senior vice president Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala: “It is crucial that more multinational development banks and other development finance institutions commit to closer and stronger collaboration, such as seen through this Joint Action Plan between the AfDB and the EIB, in order to more efficiently and effectively support our regional member countries during these troubling times. Sustainable economic growth and security in regions facing particular challenges, such as the Sahel and Horn of Africa, are our top priority.”

Thomas Östros, EIB vice president: “The Action Plan signed with the African Development Bank today demonstrates the firm commitment of the European Investment Bank, the EU Bank, to delivering investment that makes a real difference to Africa. Together the EIB and AfDB will enhance cooperation and engagement with African partners to ensure that Africa emerges from the health, social and economic challenges of COVID-19 to an even brighter 21st century.”

Building on track record of joint financial and technical support to support infrastructure investment across Africa

The plan reflects the AfDB’s High 5 development priority areas as well as EIB’s priority areas for Africa. In the wake of COVID-19, both institutions have devoted financing for rapid response to meet budgetary and health needs of African countries.

Over the past 5 years, the shared portfolio of the two institutions has grown to $4,1billion (€3,4 billion), leveraging investment totalling €10.2 billion for 26 projects across the continent. The EIB and African Development Bank recognise the unique role of publicly owned development banks in supporting high-impact and pioneering investment and mobilising private sector financing.

Recent cooperation to increase venture capital financing for innovation and technology companies through the Boost Africa initiative and commitment to the Desert to Power programme highlights how public banks accelerate financing in priority policy areas.

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In recent years the EIB and AfDB have jointly supported clean energy, water, transport and private sector projects across the continent, from Morocco in the north, Senegal in the West, Kenya in the East and Zambia in the South, and elsewhere across Africa. In the Sahel region, both AfDB and EIB are financing climate and energy initiatives such as Desert-to-Power and the Great Green Wall Initiative.

The African Development Bank Group and the European Investment Bank have a long history of cooperation, framed by their relationship as Multilateral Development Banks and a Memorandum of Understanding on an Enhanced Strategic Partnership, signed in 2005, between the EIB, the AfDB and the European Commission. They have also signed a Procedural Framework for co-financed public sector projects.

The Joint Action Plan is available online.

Theresa Smith
Theresa Smith is a Content Specialist for ESI Africa.