The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today 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.
A news report circulated on behalf of the development finance institutions by African Press Organisation (APO) Group, indicated that the Joint Action Plan would enable both institutions to grow a shared pipeline of bankable projects around key complementary themes to which each institution would bring their comparative advantage.
The themes include 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.
The signing comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which is increasing poverty across the African continent and threatening markets and livelihoods, heightening the urgency for action.
The agreement was signed by African Development Bank, Acting Senior Vice President Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, and European Investment Bank Vice President, Thomas Östros, during a virtual ceremony attended by more than 100 stakeholders from across Africa and Europe.
The session was preceded by a short roundtable between the two senior management members and representatives from both institutions.
Commenting on the deal, Tshabalala enthused: “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”, the AfDB chief added.
In his remarks, the European Investment Bank Vice President said: “Partnerships are crucial for the EIB’s business and impact, and this partnership with Africa’s Bank is crucial for Africa. 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.
“Enhancing our work with the African Development Bank, Africa’s multilateral development bank, is a strategic priority for the EIB and Europe. 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,” Östros stressed.
The Joint Action Plan, which reflects AfDB’s’s High 5 development priority areas as well as EIB’s priority areas for Africa, was developed following an EIB delegation meeting with the African Development Bank in February 2020.
Over the past 5 years, the shared portfolio of the two institutions has grown to EUR 3.4 billion, leveraging investment totaling EUR 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.