On the sidelines of this week’s Italy-Africa Summit, the European Commission (EC) and the African Development Bank Group have formalised a new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement to boost investments in infrastructure projects in Africa.
The European Union’s contribution to co-finance operations with the African Development Bank has significantly increased over the last two years, now amounting to €972 million in blending operations and guarantees. This figure will further increase after the signing of the new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement.
Signed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina, this landmark agreement renews the partnership between the two organisations. It opens a wide range of opportunities for both organisations to deliver new joint financing for infrastructure projects. For the EU, this would be in keeping with the priorities of the Global Gateway, its strategy to deliver sustainable and trusted connections with partner countries. Between 2021 and 2027, through the Africa-EU Global Gateway Investment Package, the EU will support the African continent with €150 billion worth of investments.
President von der Leyen said: “I’m very glad to launch a new era of cooperation with the African Development Bank Group. This agreement will empower us to support ambitious infrastructure projects across Africa under Global Gateway, Europe’s investment strategy for the world. Together we will build clean and competitive economies across the continent, promote skills, create jobs and opportunities, especially for Africa’s vibrant youth. I’m looking forward to the great projects we will work on together, as partners.”
President Adesina said: “The signing of this important Financial Framework Partnership Agreement marks the positive evolution of the relationship between Africa and the European Union. It will enable the African Development Bank Group and the European Commission to leverage on their respective resources to significantly support transformative investments in African countries and build resilient and sustainable economies. I am looking forward to scaling up our strong partnership with the European Commission and to making huge progress towards the achievement of the African Development Bank Group’s High 5 strategic priorities.”
This agreement will enable a series of investments in Sub-Saharan Africa in strategic transport corridors, in energy and digital connectivity. One of the main joint projects is the development of the “Lobito Corridor,” an innovative transport corridor that will enhance export possibilities for Zambia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to boost the circulation of goods and to promote the mobility of citizens. At the Global Gateway Forum in October 2023 the EU and the African Development Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Global Partners to mobilise financing for the development of this corridor. Other partners include the host governments of Angola, DRC and Zambia, the US Government and the Africa Finance Corporation.
The European Commission and the African Development Bank Group have closely aligned strategic priorities and programming. A cooperation agreement signed in 2014 expired in April 2019. Negotiations for a new agreement began after the implementation of the European Commission’s new Financial Regulation in 2018. These negotiations also considered developments in both organisations, notably in new provisions regarding the African Development Bank Group’s compliance with EU Restrictive Measures.