Poverty in Africa: AfDB, EIB Reveal Rescue Plan

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment bank (EIB) have signed a two-year partnership action plan with the goal of boosting public and private sector investment in Africa.

The partnership, according to AfDB, will see both institutions grow a shared pipeline of bankable projects around key complementary themes to which each institution would bring their comparative advantage.

The partnership aims to address the increasing poverty in Africa as the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth is now three to five percentage points lower due to Covid-19 containment measures.

‘If the containment measures drag on for much longer, the downturn is prolonged or becomes even more severe, considerably more than 13 million [African] will become poor’, the World Bank noted in a 2020 report.

The action plan was signed by AfDB Acting Senior Vice President, Bajabulile Tshabalala, and EIB Vice President, Thomas Östros, during a 20 January virtual ceremony.

‘Sustainable economic growth and security in regions facing particular challenges, such as the Sahel and Horn of Africa, are our top priority’, Tshabalala said.

The Sahel is on the frontline of climate change and millions of people in the region are already facing its devastating impact.

Some of the consequences include persistent droughts, lack of food, conflicts over dwindling natural resources, and mass migration to Europe.

AfDB had pledged a $6.5 billion support for the Sahel region’s Great Green Wall initiative for a period of five years.

‘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’, Östros said.

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.

The banks, according to their themes, will focus on climate action and environmental sustainability, transformative large-scale quality infrastructure investment, and ICT.

Other areas are infrastructure and services, empowerment of girls and women, education and training, and the health sector.

The shared portfolio of the two banks is understood to have grown to EUR 3.4 billion over the past five years.

The EIB and AfDB have jointly supported clean energy, water, transport and private sector projects in some Africa countries, including Morocco, Senegal, Kenya, and Zambia.

Source: AfDB

Photo source: AfDB

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