By Watipaso Mzungu
Malawi is among African countries to benefit from €62 million, which European Investment Bank (EIB) Global has released to accelerate growth through financing of technology start-ups, rural microfinance, agriculture and businesses affected by Covid.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said it is important that Africa-EU cooperation should back African private sector ahead of the first EU-AU summit since coronavirus was discovered.
Hoyer, in a statement dated 16 February 2022, says financing the private sector investment across Africa is essential in addressing the impact of Covid and unlocking sustainable growth opportunities.
The announcement came ahead of the first physical Africa-Europe summit since the start of the Covid pandemic.
According to the statement, the six new partnerships will support targeted private sector investment including high-tech innovation, rural microfinance and business financing from Cameroun to Malawi.
“Today, as EIB Global, we are unveiling innovative high impact cooperation that will back businesses across the continent, strengthening economic resilience to the impact of Covid and building a better future.
“The EU-Africa Business Forum ensures that the impact of scaling up sustainable private sector investment across Africa is recognised ahead of the EU-African Union summit,” Hoyer said.
Speaking at the EU Africa- Business Forum, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Thomas Östros said he was “very proud to announce six new agreements in the private sector”.
Ostros said the deals are a result of the new Team Europe spirit of cooperation to make every development cent count.
“As the EU bank, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes across the continent of Africa.
“Partnership is at the heart of our work and even more so since we launched EIB Global, our new specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance,” he said.
EIB Global is supporting two of Africa’s leading technology investors, Atlantica Ventures and Janngo, through the Boost Africa initiative.
EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its member states. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
Since the pandemic, EIB has provided more than EUR 8 billion for private and public investment across Africa.
The scheme is part of the EIB’s increased engagement across Africa to ensure that countries and companies can better face unprecedented health, business and trade challenges linked to Covid.