By Taiwo Okanlawon
The African Development Bank, AfDB, and the 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.
According to a statement issued by AfDB, the Joint Action Plan was developed following an EIB delegation meeting with the African Development Bank in February 2020.
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.
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.
Speaking at the event, Tshabalala said “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,” he added.
On his part, Thomas Östros, European Investment Vice President said the 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,” said Östros.
The plan reflects the Bank’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 the budgetary and health needs of countries in the region.
Click here to read the plan and for more information.