EIB kicks off at the IMF-World Bank Group meetings calling for digital opportunity across the globe to unlock inclusive growth
11 October 2018
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle has been calling for the 'democratisation of innovation' in a high-level panel at the World Bank annual meetings in Bali to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by technology for jobs and livelihoods – particularly in Africa.
He was speaking alongside Melinda Gates from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia, Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of Smart Africa.
EIB Vice-President Fayolle highlighted the important role of digitalisation in development and its positive contribution to realising all United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He stressed the need to bundle ICT infrastructure financing in developing economies with a ‘fight-against-poverty’ objective and climate financing initiatives.
Taking the example of EIB-financed project M-Birr, a mobile financial technology in Ethiopia, he explained how providing financial services via simple mobile technology can benefit an exponential number of consumers and service providers. As traditional financing systems often fail to properly function in many developing countries, mobile-enabled technology such as M-Birr has proved to be an effective way to increase financial inclusion.
"What we have seen through our projects is that promoting digitalisation gives opportunities to small entrepreneurs in Africa that they wouldn't have had otherwise. They can be innovative through smartphones. In Ethiopia, M-Birr delivers payment this way. It is quite important in a country where people have more mobiles than bank accounts", said EIB Vice-President Fayolle.
He added: "At the EIB, we are paying great attention to what the obstacles to investment are in Europe. It is finding people with the right skills. We need to look carefully at the impact of technology on skills and privacy out of Europe too."
Kristalina Georgieva said: "Governments can help with the impact of technology on inclusive growth. My message: do the right thing, invest in your people so you can harness the power technology and make a leap forward."
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D. the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe T.D and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary T.D. today (Thursday the 30th of July) launched a €500 million expansion to the Future Growth Loan, the government’s scheme to support SMEs, farmers and fishing. The additional funding will be provided by the EIB Group.
Pursuant to Article 27 of the Bank’s Rules of Procedure, Ms Beatrice DEVILLON-COHEN (former Managing Director – Head of Derivatives Trading, Société Générale, London) was proposed as a candidate to perform the duties of an observer to the Audit Committee.
By letter dated 11 June 2020, Mr Audrius LINARTAS (Executive Director at the Authority of Audit, Accounting, Property Valuation and Insolvency Management under the Ministry of Finance, Lithuania) was nominated by the Republic of Lithuania, by common accord with the constituency of the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden for appointment as a member of the Audit Committee of the European Investment Bank.