EIB commits US$70m to support six high impact private sector investment initiatives across Africa

AFRICA – The European Investment Bank Global (EIB Global) has committed US$70.4 million to support six high impact private sector investment initiatives across Africa.

In a statement, EIB said the funding would tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and unlock sustainable growth.

The bank said the funding would assist targeted private sector investment, including high-tech innovation, rural microfinance and business financing from Cameroun to Malawi.

Through the Boost Africa initiative, those supported by the initiative include two technology investors, Atlantica Ventures and Janngo.

Boost Africa is a joint initiative with the African Development Bank (AfDB), with financial support from the European Commission and the Organisation of African, the Caribbean and the Pacific States Secretariat (OACPS) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

The EUR 12.5 million (US$14.2m) financing for Atlantica will support EUR 50 million of new investment in innovative technology startup companies across the continent and expand specialist venture capital financing for promising entrepreneurs.

The new EUR 10 million (US$11.3m) EIB commitment to Janngo, will increase investment in early-stage tech and tech-driven startups to improve access to healthcare, education and financial services across Africa and allow African tech companies to create jobs for young people and women.

Thousands of African entrepreneurs will also benefit from local currency microfinance in rural areas where access to financial services remains limited through new EIB cooperation with the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation and the European Solidarity Financing for Africa Fund (FEFISOL).

The latest EUR 10 million (US$11.3m) a partnership between the EIB and the Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation will accelerate social inclusion and strengthen economic resilience to the pandemic.

It would also support more than 36,000 jobs and enable 98,000 new loans to female entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities across Africa.

The EUR 5 million US$5.6m) new financing for FEFISOL will allow smallholder farmers currently excluded from mainstream financing to access microfinance through small rural microfinance institutions and fair-trade certified agricultural cooperatives in 25 African countries.

The new European Solidarity Financing for Africa Fund, FEFISOL 2, builds on the successful support for rural microfinance delivered through the EIB-backed FEFISOL I, over the last decade.

Smallholders across Malawi will benefit from EUR 12.5 million (US$14.2m) EIB backing for long-term agricultural financing in cooperation with First Capital Bank and the European Union.

The new programme, supported by an EU grant, is the latest in a regional agricultural financing initiative. It will allow farmers in Malawi to modernise equipment and withstand the challenges of a changing climate.

A EUR 12 million US$13.6 million COVID resilience business financing initiative with the Commercial Bank of Cameroun will support manufacturing, services, agriculture and trading companies across the central African countries impacted by the pandemic by providing long-term financing essential for business expansion.

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