Africa: Six high impact private sector initiatives receive US$70.4 million from EIB

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  • (EIB Global) has committed $70.4 million to support six high impact private sector investment initiatives across Africa
  • EIB said the funding would tackle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and unlock sustainable growth
  • Those supported by the initiative include two technology investors, Atlantica Ventures and Janngo, through the Boost Africa initiative

The European Investment Bank Global (EIB Global) has committed $70.4 million to support six high impact private sector investment initiatives across Africa.

In a statement, EIB said the funding would tackle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and unlock sustainable growth.

The bank said the funding would assist targeted private sector investment, including high-tech innovation, rural microfinance and business financing from Cameroun to Malawi.

Accelerating investment in Africa

Through the Boost Africa initiative, those supported by the initiative include two technology investors, Atlantica Ventures and Janngo.

Boost Africa is a joint initiative with the African Development Bank (AfDB), with financial support from the European Commission and the Organisation of African, the Caribbean and the Pacific States Secretariat (OACPS) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

The EUR 12.5 million – $14.2 million – financing for Atlantica will support EUR 50 million of new investment in innovative technology startup companies across the continent and expand specialist venture capital financing for promising entrepreneurs.

The new EUR 10 million – $11.3 million – EIB commitment to Janngo, will increase investment in early-stage tech and tech-driven startups to improve access to healthcare, education and financial services across Africa and allow African tech companies to create jobs for young people and women.

Ensuring access to finance in remote and fragile communities

Thousands of African entrepreneurs will also benefit from local currency microfinance in rural areas where access to financial services remains limited through new EIB cooperation with the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation and the European Solidarity Financing for Africa Fund (FEFISOL).

The latest EUR 10 million – $11.3 million – a partnership between the EIB and the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation will accelerate social inclusion and strengthen economic resilience to the pandemic.

It would also support more than 36,000 jobs and enable 98,000 new loans to female entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities across Africa.

The EUR 5 million – $5.6 million – new financing for FEFISOL will allow smallholder farmers currently excluded from mainstream financing to access microfinance through small rural microfinance institutions and fair-trade certified agricultural cooperatives in 25 African countries.

The new European Solidarity Financing for Africa Fund, FEFISOL 2, builds on the successful support for rural microfinance delivered through the EIB-backed FEFISOL I, over the last decade.

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Supporting private sector financing

Smallholders across Malawi will benefit from EUR 12.5 million – $14.2 million – EIB backing for long-term agricultural financing in cooperation with First Capital Bank and the European Union.

EIB Building. Photo: Africa Business Communities.

The new programme, supported by an EU grant, is the latest in a regional agricultural financing initiative. It will allow farmers in Malawi to modernise equipment and withstand the challenges of a changing climate.

A EUR 12 million – $13.6 million- COVID resilience business financing initiative with the Commercial Bank of Cameroun will support manufacturing, services, agriculture and trading companies across the central African countries impacted by the pandemic by providing long-term financing essential for business expansion.

Commenting on the funding, Werner Hoyer, the President of the European Investment Bank, highlighted the crucial need to scale up cooperation.

Hoyer said that ensuring that African startups, entrepreneurs, smallholders and businesses can harness new opportunities, create jobs and expand is essential for Africa, Europe and the world.

“Over the last six decades, the EIB has worked with financial partners across the continent to back Africa’s private sector. 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-19, and building a better future,” he said.

He spoke ahead of the first physical Africa-Europe summit since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Thomas Östros said the investments aim to benefit all parts of society.

“Big cities, small villages, vulnerable regions, entrepreneurs, and of course women and girls.”

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Wanjiku Njuguna is a Kenyan-based business reporter with experience of more than eight years.

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