The European Investment Bank is providing EUR 20 million to the Banque de Développement des États d'Afrique Centrale (BDEAC) to support the private sector development in the CEMAC (Central African Economic and Monetary Community) region, thereby contributing to job creation, economic diversification and poverty reduction.

The finance was signed today in Luxembourg in the form of two contracts: a EUR 15 million global loan for the financing of projects and a EUR 5 million guarantee facility for partial guarantee of loans granted by BDEAC.

BDEAC is the international financial institution for promoting the economic and social development in the Member States of the CEMAC. It was established in 1975 and has remarkably stepped up its lending activities since 2003.

The operation will provide BDEAC with long-term financing and serve to improve the terms offered to final beneficiaries. It represents a big step in the diversification of BDEAC's resources and will act as a catalyst for other sources of finance.

In the 1980' EIB has already been involved in two operations with BDEAC. At the signature, EIB Vice-President Gersfelt commented: I am pleased to renew this cooperation with a partner with whom we share the same mission: promoting economic development in African countries.

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.

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.