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Italy: European Commission, AfDB unlock funding for African infrastructure

During the Italy-Africa Summit, the European Commission (EC) and the African Development Bank Group have officially established a new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement, aiming to enhance investments in infrastructure projects across Africa.

The European Union’s contribution to co-finance operations with the African Development Bank has notably risen in the past two years, reaching €972 million in blending operations and guarantees. This amount is expected to further increase following the formalization of the new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina signed a landmark agreement, renewing the partnership between the two organizations.

The newly signed agreement opens up extensive opportunities for both the European Commission and the African Development Bank Group to collaborate on financing new infrastructure projects. For the EU, this aligns with the goals of the Global Gateway, its strategy to establish sustainable and trusted connections with partner countries. Over the period from 2021 to 2027, the EU plans to provide €150 billion in investments to support the African continent through the Africa-EU Global Gateway Investment Package.

President von der Leyen said: “I’m very glad to launch a new era of cooperation with the African Development Bank Group. This agreement will empower us to support ambitious infrastructure projects across Africa under Global Gateway, Europe’s investment strategy for the world. Together we will build clean and competitive economies across the continent, promote skills, create jobs and opportunities, especially for Africa’s vibrant youth. I’m looking forward to the great projects we will work on together, as partners.”

President Adesina said: “The signing of this important Financial Framework Partnership Agreement marks the positive evolution of the relationship between Africa and the European Union. It will enable the African Development Bank Group and the European Commission to leverage their respective resources to significantly support transformative investments in African countries and build resilient and sustainable economies. I am looking forward to scaling up our strong partnership with the European Commission and to making huge progress towards the achievement of the African Development Bank Group’s High 5 strategic priorities.”

This agreement will facilitate a series of strategic investments in Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on transport corridors, energy, and digital connectivity. A key collaborative project is the development of the “Lobito Corridor,” an innovative transport route aimed at enhancing export opportunities for Zambia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The corridor aims to facilitate the movement of goods and enhance the mobility of citizens. During the Global Gateway Forum in October 2023, the EU and the African Development Bank, along with Global Partners, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to mobilize financing for the corridor’s development. Other partners include the host governments of Angola, DRC, and Zambia, the US Government, and the Africa Finance Corporation.

The strategic priorities and programming for African development by the European Commission and the African Development Bank Group are closely aligned in their cooperation.

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