Román Escolano, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, is on an official visit to Algeria from 12-14 July to sign a new cooperation agreement with the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and meet several members of the Government, including H.E. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, H.E. Abderrahmane Raouia, Minister of Finance, H.E. Abdelghani Zaalane, Minister of Public Works and Transport, H.E. Fatma Zohra Zerouati, Minister of the Environment and Renewable Energy, Mr Hassane Rabehi, Secretary General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and Ms Fatma Zohra Cherfi, Secretary General of the Energy Ministry.
“This is my first official visit to Algeria as EIB Vice-President”, said Román Escolano on his arrival in Algiers. “The partnership that we are renewing today is very important and I trust that it will be long-lasting and firmly focused on the future. The EU bank stands ready to vigorously support strategic investment for Algeria. It will also put all its energy into implementing the shared Partnership Priorities of Algeria and the European Union."
The new cooperation agreement signed between the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria and the EU bank is centred on road safety, one key aspect being an EIB-financed study of the safety standards applied on Algeria's section of the Trans-Maghreb motorway (which connects the Maghreb countries). This regional study for the Maghreb countries, entitled ‘Road Safety Audit’, will specifically concern the East-West motorway between Algeria’s eastern and western borders and the feeder roads for the main wilayas (provinces), including Oran and Bejaia, i.e. a section of around 1 500 km in total, running the entire length of the country's Mediterranean coast. It will take into account the needs of all users of the motorway in order to identify upstream the safety issues concerning this arterial route and the sections in operation and propose optimal management and traffic solutions.
“I am delighted to sign this partnership with Algeria for such a key sector as transport and road safety”, said EIB Vice-President Román Escolano at the signing ceremony. “While the EIB is first and foremost an investment and advisory bank, we will also make available all the skills and expertise that we have acquired both in Europe and in the region to successfully conduct this Road Safety Audit. Our aim is to increase the safety of the users of these trunk roads, which are key to the economic development of a country and its regions and to the daily lives of the people.”
Transport is a sector in which the EIB has already added the value of its advice and expertise in Algeria through enhanced technical cooperation in terms of management and logistics, via the Logismed Soft programme at regional level (€4.5 million) in cooperation with the European Commission and the National Motorways Agency (€2.5 million). The EIB has also financed strategic transport projects in Algeria such as the East-West motorway and the Port of Bejaia.
The EIB, which is the leading investment and advisory bank in the Mediterranean region, has invested €2.1 billion in Algeria in support of projects in the energy, water, road transport and industry sectors. It also offered its full support to Algeria following the natural disasters that hit the country in 2000 (floods) and 2003 (earthquake).