On 18 May 2021, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank outlined two new gender financing and digital initiatives to accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 across Africa and scale up targeted financial and technical support for high-impact investment.
The strengthened support for gender focused and digital investment were outlined at the Summit on the Financing of African Economies convened in Paris by President Macron and attended by Heads of State and Government from across Africa and Europe.
“Discussions at the Paris summit today show how Africa and Europe are together facing the health, economic and social challenges of COVID-19 and share investment priorities to ensure a sustainable and inclusive recovery. Following last year’s record EUR 5 billion EIB engagement across Africa, driven by our rapid response to the pandemic that enabled African partners to continue to invest, together we can now look ahead to the future. Accelerating innovation across the board and supporting women’s entrepreneurship are is crucial for Africa’s development. EIB teams in Europe and in nine centres across Africa, stand ready to increase financial and technical support to private and public African partners during the recovery.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
Mobilising €2 billion of gender-responsive investment in Africa
One year after the launch of the SheInvest initiative in 2019, the EIB reached its initial target to mobilise €1 billion of gender-focused investment that strengthens gender equality and female economic empowerment in Africa. Given the success of SheInvest, the EIB now commits to double its ambition and mobilise €2 billion of investment that will provide women across the continent with better access to finance, as well as with services and products that are better geared towards their needs.
In addition, a Technical Assistance Programme, the African Women Rising Initiative, is providing capacity building and mentoring to women entrepreneurs and supporting intermediaries in designing financial and non-financial services tailored to their needs.
Building on the EIB’s unique track record in Africa
In 2020 the European Investment Bank provided €5 billion for new private and public investment across Africa. This represented the largest annual EIB engagement in 55 years of operations on the continent and the largest support for climate action and investment in fragile states.
Women's economic empowerment is a central pillar of the EU's strategy to close the gender gap and for the successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. On the other hand, the digital sector has become one of the fastest-evolving economic and social areas worldwide, creating opportunities for inclusive growth. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) welcomes EIB's new initiatives to Africa region that deepens cooperation based around shared interests and values and enables both sides to achieve their common goals and to tackle global challenges.
Source: European Investment Bank Newsroom