Three regional EIB representative offices will be opened shortly by the European Investment Bank in sub-Saharan Africa to support its development financing on the continent, especially within the framework of the Investment Facility set up under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the ACP - African, Caribbean and Pacific - states.

The three offices will be in

  • Dakar, Senegal, for Western Africa,
  • Nairobi, Kenya, for East and Central Africa
  • Pretoria, South Africa, for the Southern Africa regionand Indian Ocean

Managed from Luxembourg, the EIB has been operating in Africa under successive EU conventions for some 40 years,. In recent years this task has grown in importance, with the focus of support going to the private sector and to the improvement of utilities - energy, water, communications - through the reform of state agencies into commercially managed or privatised enterprises.

In the last five years alone the Bank has provided loans and risk capital totalling EUR 2.4bn for investement in sub-Saharan Africa. Under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement it is mandated to channel up to EUR 3.9 billion long-term investment (loan and risk capital) finance to ACP projects, as part of a strategy to encourage the development of the private sector investment or to private sector enabling projects in the public sector, complementing EU grant aid. The strategy aims at the sustainable development and integration of the ACP countries in the world economy. Under a separate mandate, the bank has supported investments in the Republic of South Africa since 1994 - EUR 850m in the past five years - to engender more balanced development.

The representations are intended to increase the effectiveness of EIB activities and to reinforce its identity within the ACP. As EIB President Philippe Maystadt said at the launch of the Investment Facility: it recognises the fact that the exercise of EIB's mandate of being the EU's development bank, requires permanent presence in the main regions of Africa.

EIB's regional offices will be at the service of the business community in Africa. Potential investors will have a point of contact and advice on European Investment Bank financing in Africa. The Heads of Representaions are

  • Dakar: Mr. Jack Reversade
  • Nairobi: Mr. Carmelo Cocuzza
  • Pretoria: Mr. David White.

The Representations will be fully operational by the end of the first quarter 2005 and will complement the existing EU presence in Africa that is in place through the European Commission delegations and the offices or antennae of private sector instruments set up under the Cotonou Agreement such as the CDE Centre for the Development of Enterprise and Pro€invest.

The EIB regional offices will also seek to increase synergies in the field with the World Bank group and other institutions such as the EIB's partners in the European development financing institutions group, the EDFI and peer institutions.

The EIB, established in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome, finances capital investment projects that further the European Union (EU) policy objectives. It also participates in the implementation of the EU's co-operation policy towards third countries that have co-operation or association agreements with the Union. Currently, the Bank's financing in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) is carried out under the provisions of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou in June 2000. Under the Cotonou agreement the total financial aid available amounts to EUR 15.2 billion for 2002-2006, of which EUR 11.3 billion is grant aid from the EU member states, EUR 2.2 billion is managed by the EIB under the Investment Facility and up to EUR 1.7 billion is in the form of loans from the EIB's own resources. The Investment Facility is a revolving facility (reflows will be invested in new operations), aiming at supporting technically, environmentally, financially and economically sound projects in the private or the commercially run public sector.