EIB confirms support for US$567mn transformational investment across Africa

antenna cell tower cellphone masts 270286 1The European Investment Bank (EIB) has formally agreed on a total of US$567mn of new financing for three projects to support sustainable transport, clean energy and internet access projects in North, West and East Africa

The three projects, signed at the High-Level Africa-Europe Forum held in Vienna, demonstrated the bank’s technical and financial support for life-changing investment across the continent.

Werner Hoyer, president of the EIB, said, “New investment is crucial to unlock economic opportunities, improve lives and tackle the impact of a changing climate. As the EU Bank, EIB is committed to ensuring the sustainable development goals can be achieved in Africa. Sustainable transport, clean energy and communications networks are shared challenges for Europe and Africa.”

The new financing announced at the summit will support projects in Egypt, Guinea and East Africa. This includes upgrading Cairo’s main metro line to transform public transport capacity used by 20mn people living in the city.

In West Africa, the EIB will back completion of a new cross-border interconnector to enable first-time access to electricity by 200,000 people in Guinea and increased use of clean energy in Guinea, Mali, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

While in East Africa, new support for telecom investment will allow nine million to benefit from the expansion of the fibre optic internet network in five Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Transforming sustainable transport–US$401mn backing for the Cairo Metro:

The bank will support new investment to upgrade the 44km Line one of the Cairo Metro. This is one of the busiest metro networks in the world with more than 2.6mn passengers a day, and once complete the upgrade will increase passenger capacity by 40 per cent and improve operational reliability. Improving public transport is crucial to enabling alternatives to car use and cutting carbon emissions.

Ahead of the formal announcement Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and EIB President Werner Hoyer discussed future investment priorities in Egypt and the impact of US$4.5bn of EIB support for private sector, transport, water and wastewater investment in the country since 2012.

Improving access to clean energy–US$149mn support for Guinea-Mali interconnector:

The new electricity interconnector between Guinea and Mali is a crucial link in the western African power pool that will provide reliable access to renewable energy to inhabitants of four countries and expand access to thousands of people living in rural communities in Guinea. The bank has agreed to support the new connection that will reduce the need to use costly diesel generators and contributes to the United Nations sustainable energy for all initiative.

Connecting East Africa to the world–US$17mn for the regional communications network:

At the Forum, EIB announced US$17.6mn support for investment by a private sector telecom provider that will connect regions currently lacking broadband internet access.

A new 4,850km fibre optic network to be built in the next two years will transform communications for an estimated nine million people in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Once operational the improved telecommunications infrastructure is expected to support sustainable economic development across the region by enabling local communities to gain access to financial services, mobile health and education services, and agricultural information including commodity prices and weather alerts.

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