The European Investment Bank (EIB), represented by Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, and the Government of Benin, represented by Minister of State for Planning and Development Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, signed a EUR 50m loan agreement today in Paris. This is the EIB's contribution to Cotonou's stormwater management programme.

This project – which is also being supported by the World Bank, the Agence française de développement, the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the West African Development Bank – aims to protect Cotonou from the cyclical floods it faces every rainy season.

It is fully in line with the EIB's priorities across Africa, i.e. combating climate change and improving living environments to promote the economic expansion of the continent's cities.

This loan shows the EU's determination to help the Government of Benin to develop its economy,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. It comes in addition to several financing operations that the EU bank has signed over the last few years in the water, energy and assistance for SMEs sectors.

More than just a signature, today's ceremony will make it possible to protect over 1.2 million Beninese people from flooding during future rainy seasons. Cotonou's stormwater management programme is also key to the economic development of the city and the social inclusion of its residents,” said Minister of State for Planning and Development Abdoulaye Bio Tchané.