The European Investment Bank (EIB) attended the G5 Sahel Partners and Donors Coordination Conference that took place on Thursday 6 December 2018 in Nouakchott. The aim of this international meeting was to support the security and development strategy (SDS) adopted by the G5 Sahel in 2016. The Priority Investment Programme (PIP) implemented from the SDS includes 40 structural projects totalling EUR 2bn, 13% of which has already been secured by the Member States.

This is the first phase (2019-2021) of an ambitious development plan based on the regional organisation's four strategic priorities: governance (EUR 81m), resilience (EUR 200m), security (EUR 396m) and infrastructure (EUR 1bn).

The PIP projects give priority to border regions in the west (Mali-Mauritania), centre (Burkina Faso-Mali-Niger) and east (Niger-Chad) of the G5 Sahel area. The people living in these regions – including internally displaced persons and refugees – will receive particular attention in terms of infrastructure investment.

During the conference, the EIB confirmed its support, in particular for the following two priority actions: infrastructure projects and projects related to resilience and human development, which are important areas of activity for the Bank. The EIB also said that it would continue its commitment to the Sahel during the period in question (2019-2021) with overall financing of EUR 600m to support the public and private sectors, EUR 250m of which would be dedicated to the PIP (40% of the total allocated amount).

At the conference, the EIB signed a declaration of intent with Niger's Minister of Planning and the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. This declaration covers EUR 57m of financing for the project to extend Niger's electricity grid (NELACEP II), to be combined with a grant of over EUR 18m from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF).

In joining this meeting, the EU Bank is providing the G5 Sahel's five Member States with large-scale strategic financing, giving new impetus to a strong and successful partnership stretching back almost 50 years.

This new financing is indicative of the wide-ranging action taken by the EIB in the Sahel to support both the public and private sectors, including projects such as the electricity interconnector linking Mali and Guinea and receiving EUR 130m in Bank financing, the interconnection of the electricity grids of Chad and Cameroon, water supply in Niger, mobile telecommunications and port infrastructure in Mauritania, and renewable energies and SME support in Burkina Faso. These projects will be implemented as part of the sustainable development of the economies in question and with the aim of supporting the regional integration of the G5 Sahel countries.

This new commitment demonstrates the EIB's confidence in the PIP's ability to foster major change to the socioeconomic situation in the Sahel. In line with the schedule adopted by the G5 Sahel, this large-scale programme will cover the 2019-2021 period.

For the G5 Sahel, the EIB's announcement is a milestone enabling it to strengthen its investment relationship with the EU institutions. It is also a valuable show of confidence for the regional organisation and its Member States.