November 29, 2017, in the Côte d’Ivoire capital, ahead of the African Union-European Union Summit, the European Investment bank (EIB) signed its first, landmark agreement with the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank). The agreement involves a finance facility for EUR 100m from the EIB.
The seven-year loan will finance trade-related investments and projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. It will support African promoters carrying out small and medium-sized long-term investments with favourable financial terms in more than 40 countries across Africa where Afreximbank operates. It is expected to enhance intra-African trade as well as trade with the European Union, thus strengthening trade as a key aspect of economic growth and competitiveness.
Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President responsible for Development said: “The European Investment Bank’s first ever transaction with Afreximbank is welcome news in the framework of the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan. Both the EIB – as the Bank of the European Union, delivering on its objectives – and our African partners share the strategic objective of supporting the private sector with a particular focus on trade and trade-related infrastructure. This agreement will help develop EU-African trade relations and, crucially, provide much-needed jobs across the continent.”
“The signing of this facility agreement adds strong impetus to our drive for intra-African trade and for the promotion of industrialisation and export development across Africa,” said Dr Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank. “We are delighted that the European Investment Bank has chosen to partner with us in the pursuit of Africa’s trade development and we are confident that, with the facility, we can look forward to mutually beneficial development outcomes for our two institutions and to the further strengthening of the relationship between Africa and Europe.”
This operation is in line with the EIB’s mandate objective under the Cotonou Agreement for local private sector development. The financing is also part of a wider series of initiatives and agreements announced by the EIB ahead of the EU Africa summit.