The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed, on Wednesday, a joint partnership action plan highlighting their strengthened cooperation and mutual development priorities.
The partnership also aims to showcase a strong shared emphasis on boosting public and private sector investment in Africa.
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 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which is increasing poverty across Africa, and threatening markets and livelihoods. Due to the many negative impacts of the global health crisis, there has been a heightened urgency for action.
Over the past five years, the shared portfolio of the two institutions has grown to €3.4bn, leveraging investment totalling €10.2bn for 26 projects across the continent.
The agreement was signed by the AfDB’s Acting Senior Vice-President Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala and EIB Vice President Thomas Östros. It took place during a virtual ceremony attended by more than 100 stakeholders from across Africa and Europe.
The session was preceded by a short roundtable discussion between the two senior management members, and representatives from both institutions.
The Joint Action Plan was developed following an EIB delegation meeting with the African Development Bank in February 2020.