AFRICA – The European Investment Bank (EIB), an arm of the European Union, and multilateral trade finance institution, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), are supporting the resilience and recovery of African nations from the Covid-19 pandemic with a €300 million (US$354.39m) of financing.
The funds will ensure businesses across the continent have the working capital to sustain jobs and maintain vital imports.
The support package is the first accelerated Covid-19 response for the entire sub-Saharan region under the EIB’s Team Europe initiative – a €6.7 billion (US$7.9bn) package to help the most vulnerable and exposed countries respond to the immediate health crisis, mitigate social and economic impacts and build resilience for the future.
The support for sub-Saharan Africa delivered with Afreximbank is structured in two parts, with the package redeploying €200 million (US$236.26m) of funds previously allocated to trade-related investments and directing them specifically to sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
In recognising the pressing need for support, Afreximbank and the EIB are also injecting a further €100 million (US$118.13m) to the package. This combination of existing and new funds, in addition to Afreximbank’s position on the ground, means support can be activated immediately – a degree of agility that would not have been possible under a new agreement.
Further, Afreximbank says its deep knowledge and broad presence across African markets will ensure capital reaches businesses and communities in all areas of the continent.
In addition, the support package will provide financing to long-term investments in trade expansion, helping both the availability of goods and growth in economic prosperity.
In addition, part of the funds will support the repurposing of factories to manufacture personal protective equipment and other Covid-19 materials, through the African Medical Supplies Platform – a digital platform promoted by Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Afreximbank, and the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa and African Union Envoy Strive Masiyiwa.
“The funding announced today is welcome not only because it answers an urgent need, but because it is deployed with urgency.”