New offices for the European Investment Bank Regional Representation for West and Africa and the Sahel region were officially inaugurated by the President of Senegal, His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Wade together with the President of the EIB, Mr. Philippe Maystadt. The new representation office, the second to be opened by the EIB in Africa South of the Sahara, is to play a key role in the EIB's commitment to build closer ties with its customers and expand operations in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) within the framework of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, and the Investment Facility, a funding instrument created by the Agreement and managed by the EIB since its official launch in June 2003.

The Dakar-based regional representation pole is intended to enhance EIB activities in particular towards the private sector, and to reinforce its visibility with the ACP countries of West Africa. As EIB President Philippe Maystadt said: The new Representation Office underscores the EIB's commitment as the European Union's development financing institution to supporting economic development in Africa under the Cotonou Agreement. Senegal, and in particular its President, being our host, underlines its commitment for the same goal. Both the Bank and the ACP countries realise that implementation of the Cotonou Agreement's challenging mandate requires a permanent presence in Africa.

The EIB representations in Dakar will bring both added value in operational terms and flexibility for European Development Finance in the whole region . Local investors will have a point of contact for advice on European Investment Bank financing of projects through:

  • Mr. Jack Reversade and Ms. Cristina Mejia Garcia
  • European Investment Bank
  • 3 rue du Docteur Roux. BP: 6935 Dakar-Plateau, Senegal
  • Tel. (+221) 889 43 00 / 43 11 Fax: (+221) 842 97 12

Within the private sector, EIB Dakar will also work with the network of local antennae of the CDE, Center for the Development of Enterprise in the region and with Pro€invest, both set up as independently managed private sector support instruments under the Cotonou Agreement and its predecessor treaties, the Lomé Conventions.

The EIB Dakar regional representation will further help to improve co-ordination with the European Commission's grant aid in support of the road infrastructure and water and sewerage sectors, as well as improvements in the governance, regulatory and judicial systems through the national indicative programmes (NIP) in the region. In addition it will strengthen synergies with the EIB's partners in the European development financing institutions group, the EDFI, and with the World Bank group and other peer institutions.

EIB lending under first full year of the Investment Facility (2004), a risk taking, risk pricing, revolving facility for the ACP private or commercially run public sector, reached sixteen operations for a total of EUR 337 million. In Senegal a loan for EUR 10 million was approved for the Dakar - Ziguinchor maritime link - the relevant finance contract will be signed with the Ministry of Finance on the 1st July.

Two other regional representation offices will be officially opened in sub-Saharan Africa in 2005 with the office for East and Central Africa being officially inaugurated on 30 May in Nairobi. A subsequent regional representation for the Southern Africa region and Indian Ocean will be inaugurated in Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa.

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 Investment Facility, set up by the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou in June 2000. Under the Cotonou agreement the total financial aid available amounts to + EUR 15 billion for 2002-2006, of which EUR 11.3 billion is grant aid from the EU member states, + EUR 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 (loan amortizations 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.