. Renewable energy, vaccine production, others top focus
The European Union (EU), has unveiled plans to mobilise investment of over €150 billion for Africa.
The funds will be channelled towards renewable energy, reducing the risk of natural disasters, internet access, transport, vaccine production and education in Africa.
The EU has set a target date of 2030 for the African funds under the plan, according to a document from the European Commission.
EU Chief, Ursula von der Leyen, said the scheme is the first regional plan of the European Union’s Global Gateway, an investment blueprint that seeks to mobilise up to €300 billion ($340 billion) for public and private infrastructure around the world by 2027.
Speaking at a press conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Thursday, Von der Leyen told journalists that she was “proud” to announce plans for Africa, where the aim was to amass at least €150 billion in investment, without giving further detail.
Seen as a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative, the strategy will use funding from EU institutions and member countries to leverage private-sector investment.
Von der Leyen is in Dakar for a summit between the EU and the African Union on February 17-18.
“At the summit, investments will be at the heart of the discussions because they are the means of our shared ambition. In this area Europe is the most reliable partner for Africa and by far the most important,” she said.
At the summit, investments will be at the heart of the discussions because they are the means of our shared ambition. In this area Europe is the most reliable partner for Africa and by far the most important.
The EU had said money under the Global Gateway will be earmarked for “smart, lean and secure links” in communications and transport and for boosting health, education and research.
Global Gateway is rooted in “the values to which Europe and Africa are committed, such as transparency, sustainability, good governance and concern for the well-being of the people,” Von der Leyen added.
Earlier, she had noted that foreign investment in Africa too often came with “hidden costs” attached.
Speaking, Senegalese President, Macky Sall, said he expected the EU-AU summit to produce a “renewed, modernised and more action-oriented partnership,” adding that “Europe and Africa have an interest in working together.
Sall also expressed commitment to fighting global warming, but stressed the need to finance natural-gas projects to boost industry and provide greater access to electricity.
Senegalese government has said it plans to start production from its gas fields off its Atlantic coast by late next year or in 2024.