The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are directing €300m to support African nations as they respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The funds will ensure businesses across the continent have the working capital they need to sustain jobs and maintain vital imports. It also earmarks at least a quarter of the capital for climate change mitigation and adaptation, helping Africa maximise the opportunities of a green recovery.
The support package is the first accelerated coronavirus response for the entire sub-Saharan region under the EIB’s Team Europe initiative. The initiative represents a €6.7bn package to help the most vulnerable and exposed countries respond to the immediate health crisis, mitigate social and economic impacts, and build resilience for the future.
The support for sub-Saharan Africa delivered with Afreximbank is structured in two parts. The package redeploys €200m of funds previously allocated to trade-related investments, directing them specifically to sectors most impacted by the pandemic.
Recognising the pressing need for support, Afreximbank and the EIB are also injecting a further €100m to the package. This combination of existing and new funds, in addition to Afreximbank’s position on the ground, means support can be activated immediately, providing a degree of agility that would not have been possible under a new agreement.
Afreximbank’s deep knowledge and broad presence across African markets will ensure capital reaches businesses and communities in all areas of the continent.
Under a 2018 agreement, the EIB and Afreximbank have already deployed some of the previously allocated €200m to projects now supporting the resilience of African nations during the pandemic. These have included programmes to expand intra-African trade and export manufacturing in sectors with high employment rates.