The offices for the European Investment Bank Regional Representation for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean in Tshwane (Pretoria) were today officially inaugurated by Dr Tomaz Salomão, Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Investment Bank's Vice President Mr. Torsten Gersfelt. This representation office, the third to be opened by the EIB in sub-Saharan Africa, is to play a key role in the EIB's commitment to build closer ties with its customers and expand operations in the Southern African region, 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. At the same time the new representation will develop stronger links with the South African business community in both the public and the private sectors in the context of the European Investment Bank's role in the relationship between the European Union and the Republic of South Africa.
The Tshwane Regional Representation intends to increase the effectiveness of EIB activities, in particular in the private sector, and to reinforce its identity. As EIB Vice President Torsten Gersfelt said: The new Representation Offices underline the EIB's commitment for support to Africa under the Cotonou Agreement and for South Africa under the special mandate of the Bank. South Africa as the host for the third of our offices in sub-Saharan Africa, underlines both the importance of our relationship with South Africa itself and with the SADC region, which is represented today by Dr. Salomão.
The EIB Representation in Tshwane will add value in terms of operations and flexibility and European Development Finance in the whole Southern Africa region and potential investors from Angola, through Mozambique, Swaziland and countries on and in the Indian Ocean (1) will have a point of contact and for advice on European Investment Bank and other community financing of projects through:
- Mr. David White, Head of Representation.
- Ms. Lena Eriksson-Åshuvud, Deputy Head
- 5, Greenpark Estates 27, George Storrar Drive, Pretoria 0181, South Africa
- tf +27 12 425 0460; fax +27 12 425 0470
The EIB Regional Representation will also help to improve co-ordination with the European Commission's grant aid in the whole region in support of governance, regulatory and judicial improvements through the national indicative programmes (NIP) in the region. It will connect with the wide network of local antennae of the CDE, Centre for Development of Enterprise and Pro€invest, the private sector support instruments under the Cotonou Agreement.
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.
Two other Regional Representations have been opened in sub-Saharan Africa in 2005, one for East and Central Africa, in Nairobi, and another for West Africa in Dakar.
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 15.2 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 (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.
European Investment Bank support for RSA is being provided following an invitation from the Council of the European Union to the Bank to participate in project financing in South Africa, in support of the economic development of the country after the establishment of democratic government. In June 1995 the Bank was authorised to grant long-term loans for a total amount of up to 300 million EUR for a period of two years. In April 1997 the mandate was extended to mid - 2000 for a further EUR 375 million and in June 2000 for a further period (2000-2006) for an amount of EUR 825 million, bringing the total facilities for South Africa over the period to EUR 1.5 billion.
(1) Angola, Botswana, Comores, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa,Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.