Yaounde: New EU financial instrument, investment strategy for Africa unveiled.
The new financial instrument and investment strategy was unveiled in Yaounde yesterday.
Speaking at the ceremony, Assistant Director General in the European Union Commission, Myriam Ferran, enlightened participants on the salient points of the new approach.
She stressed on the need for the world to come together in the face of evolving geopolitical complexities. Ferran expressed dismay that with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Africa seems to have been plagued more than any other continent.
She cited disruptions in major supply lines, especially for grain that Ukraine exports to Africa which have been cut off, bringing an entire continent to the brink of famine.
She also said major global supply lines because war in Ukraine has also led to uncertainties in the prices of Africa´s export commodities, thereby creating severe scarcity in much needed foreign exchange earnings.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT, Alamine Ousmane Mey, said the Global Financial instrument and the Global Gateway are new approaches that are meant to reshape the way the EU doles out funds for development aid, not only to countries of the Central African Sub-region, but to all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
After the coming to an end of the Africa Pacific and Caribbean nation’s agreement, APC and the Cotonou accord, the officials said it has become necessary for Europe who are Africa´s frontline financing partners to redesign the way aid is disbursed to these countries so that it achieves the development objectives and aspirations of the donors and create significant impact by improving livelihoods.
Down to specifics
Myriam Ferran clarified that among other issues that the Global Gateway Africa-Europe investment package aims at supporting Africa for a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery and transformation through specific actions.
She said it also includes the acceleration of the green transition; acceleration of the digital transition; sustainable growth and decent job creation as well as strengthening of health systems and improving education and training.
The representative of donor partners stressed that implementation of the investment package and all activities derived from it are both in line with African strategies, in particular the Africa Agenda 2060, jointly identified through close dialogue with the African Union Commission, African partners´ countries, as well as regional economic organisations.
The entire investment package, they said, will be delivered through Team Europe initiatives: the EU, its member states; while European financial institutions work together to support concrete and transformational projects jointly identified in priority areas.
Team Europe frontline members, according to the Assistant Director General include the European Investment Bank, the German Development Mission, the French Development Agency, and other European banks that fund projects in Africa.
Sustainable energy development
The donors recognised as a fact that climate change is a global challenge and can only be tackled by working together on a global scale. Therefore, the EU will continue to work with Africa to maximise the benefits of a job-risk green transition and minimize threats to the environment in full compliance with the Paris agreement.
The investment package will allow for an increase in renewable energy and hydrogen; and share in the mix, access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy as well as support market integration and sector reforms.
The overall EU ambition being to ensure that by 2030, the renewable energy generation capacity in Central Africa has increased to 300 GW.
Biodiversity & agri-food systems
The European Union stressed that initiatives undertaken under this investment package will aim to promote sustainable use of natural resources, protect biodiversity and provide nature-based solutions as the basis for a green recovery, including support to the protection of landslides and ecosystems.
The overall ambition being to make sure that by 2030, the livelihoods of not less than 65 million Africans have been upgraded; capturing carbon accelerated; while the stabilization of 3-million-kilometre square of land is guaranteed and water security in the continent ensured.
As it concerns agri-food systems, the donors say the investment package will support more sustainable African agri-food systems by creating a conducive and transparent policy environment for sustainable private investments, enhancing investments in support to agri-food and fish-processing, facilitating innovation and boosting improved nutrition.
With end result being to make sure that by 2030, sustainable food systems in Africa are capable of protecting Africa´s agriculture, fisheries and food development agenda.