All of the major challenges we are facing today — be it climate change or the coronavirus pandemic — are global issues.

EIB Global started operating this year. It brings all of the EIB’s activities beyond the European Union together into a single entity to amplify the impact of everything that we do. Thanks to EIB Global, the Bank can use its expertise and resources to take action on the ground exactly where it is needed, in close cooperation with Team Europe and all our partners, development finance institutions and civil society.

Fully in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, our aim is to finance projects for adapting to climate change while mitigating its consequences, and to set up sustainable and innovative solutions. Specific financial tools and facilities providing support and assistance will continue to be rolled out to shore up riskier projects, particularly in the field of climate action, and ensure that the most vulnerable populations have access to water, electricity and healthcare. Women are also a key focus of our action, as we seek to empower them to become more self-reliant and participate in society and business on an equal footing.

These needs are still very much in evidence, and have now become even more pressing for all developing countries: more than €2 trillion in additional investment is required each year to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the aims of the Paris Agreement. We must work with all of our partners to invest more and better.

The EIB is more committed than ever, capitalising on its expertise and its action in these countries over many years: since 2012, the EIB has invested €70 billion in key sectors such as energy, agriculture and youth training. In response to the pandemic, the EIB supported the COVAX initiative and helped organisations such as the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, to become regional centres for producing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. We are working with one of the leaders in messenger RNA vaccines — BioNTech in Germany — to set up more regional manufacturing networks in other parts of the continent.

A first regional hub in Nairobi

EIB Global will work closely with people, businesses and local institutions in Africa. Our focus will be on technical assistance to help identify and prepare projects so that they can benefit from our funding. We will continue to support microfinance institutions in areas where people often do not have access to a bank.

EIB Global will help the smallest entrepreneurs and the largest industries. We are creating new regional hubs with local and international experts to make it easier for projects to secure financing, in local currency when possible, and support project promoters. The first regional hub has already been set up in Nairobi, Kenya.

EIB Global will do everything that it can to show that the development loans granted in cooperation with our financial partners accelerate growth, make rural areas more prosperous, transform cities into innovation hubs and strengthen economies.

Originally published in Jeune Afrique