The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) today agreed to set up a joint technical assistance programme to improve the preparation and implementation of infrastructure projects. This recognises the need for national and local infrastructure agencies to be able to prepare and implement high quality and viable projects capable of gaining public and private financial support and that the lack of well planned and formulated projects is hindering economic development.

The EUR 6m (ZAR 61.2m)  programme, including EUR 3m from the European Investment Bank and EUR 3m from DBSA, will primarily target countries across southern and eastern Africa with a specific focus on improving infrastructure project preparation in the transport, energy, water and sanitation, urban and ICT sectors.

The DBSA-EIB Project Development and Support Facility (PDSF) was signed earlier today in Johannesburg by European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa Plutarchos Sakellaris and Development Bank of Southern Africa Chief Executive Officer Paul Baloyi.

Speaking at the signing ceremony Plutarchos Sakellaris said: “The European Investment Bank looks forward to working with DBSA to address the fundamental deficit in infrastructure in many parts of Africa that limits access to basic services. We wish to strengthen our long relationship with DBSA and collaborate to improve infrastructure project preparation and implementation in order to reduce the infrastructure backlog in key areas.”

Paul Baloyi added, “The 15 year long relationship with EIB has now evolved to a new level of cooperation and co-funding by the signing of this agreement.  This facility will enable the two institutions to advance priority projects in the region as required and ensure broader benefit.  The potential in the region is huge, but it hinges on unlocking the opportunities.”

The Project Development and Support Facility will focus on high development impact projects, notably also investing in rehabilitation measures, while promoting climate change resilience of existing infrastructure. Projects arising from regional economic and energy initiatives, recommended by the European Commission Delegations or bilateral agencies are also targeted. The Facility will fund studies and consultancy services that will advance preparation, financing and implementation of infrastructure projects that would not otherwise reach financial or legal closure, and EIB involvement at an earlier stage will enable more efficient use of other forms of technical assistance where appropriate.

Notes for editors:

About the European Investment Bank

  • The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 European Union member states, has been active across Africa for over 40 years. EIB activities follow policies and objectives set down by European Union member states and whose Finance Ministers are the EIB’s Governors.
  • In 2009, the European Investment Bank provided over EUR 1.1bn [USD 1.5 bn] of funding to sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank provides a broad range of financing instruments including loans, guarantees and risk capital to Africa selecting projects that can deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits.
  • Last year the long-term lending institution provided a record EUR 280m (ZAR 3bn) for investments in South Africa, with a total of EUR 2bn since 1995.  Key projects financed in 2009 included support to private sector SME’s municipal infrastructure and national roads as well as renewable energy and energy efficient projects.

About the Development Bank of Southern Africa

The Development Bank of Southern Africa is a leading Development Finance Institution (DFI) in Africa South of the Sahara, playing the roles of Financier, Advisor, Partner, Implementer and Integrator. The Bank maximizes its contribution to sustainable development by mobilizing financial, knowledge and human capital to support Government and other development role- players in improving the quality of life of people in the region through funding infrastructure projects; accelerating the sustainable reduction of poverty and dependency; and promoting broad-based economic growth and regional economic integration.