By ZBC Reporter
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are directing US$355 million (Euro 300 million) to support the resilience and recovery of African nations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was revealed in a statement by both institutions saying the funds will ensure businesses across the continent have the working capital to sustain jobs and maintain vital imports.
“It also earmarks at least a quarter of the capital for climate change mitigation and adaptation, helping Africa maximise the opportunities of a green recovery.
“The support package is the first accelerated COVID-19 response for the entire sub-Saharan region under the EIB’s Team Europe initiative—a EUR 6.7bn package to help the most vulnerable and exposed countries respond to the immediate health crisis, mitigate social and economic impacts, and build resilience for the future,” reads the statement.
The support for sub-Saharan Africa delivered with Afreximbank is structured in two parts.
“The package redeploys EUR 200m of funds previously allocated to trade-related investments, directing them specifically to sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
“Recognising the pressing need for support, Afreximbank and the EIB are also injecting a further EUR 100m to the package. This combination of existing and new funds, in addition to Afreximbank’s position on the ground, means support can be activated immediately – a degree of agility that would not have been possible under a new agreement. Furthermore, Afreximbank’s deep knowledge and broad presence across African markets will ensure capital reaches businesses and communities in all areas of the continent,” reads the statement.
Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah said: “As continental neighbours, Europe and Africa must stand together against the global pandemic. The funding announced today is welcome not only because it answers an urgent need, but because it is deployed with urgency.
“With the joint experience of Afreximbank and the EIB, the support will rapidly reach those most affected and be carefully designed to have the greatest effect on the post-pandemic recovery. What’s more, the package’s support for green projects will help propel Africa towards the sustainable economy of the future and all the opportunities that entails.
“I am confident that our work together will not only have a positive impact on African nations but will help us on the path to a closer relationship, based on shared prosperity, values and a commitment to a sustainable future.”
European Investment Bank Vice President Ambroise Fayolle said: “Once again the European Investment Bank is strengthening our close cooperation with Afreximbank to unlock high-impact investment by companies across Africa. A total amount of EUR 300m has been made available as a direct result of the EIB’s fast-track support and global response as part of Team Europe.
“Reflecting the scale of the global impact of COVID-19, the EIB Board has agreed to scale up financing with existing partners to rapidly deliver an immediate response. Together with Afreximbank this new financing will both unlock medical investment and ensure that climate action investment to cut energy use and emissions is not delayed.”
By ZBC Reporter