EU chief unveiled a record investment pledge for Africa, on Thurday. Just a week away from the sixth the European Union- African Union summit.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Thursday announced a more than $172 billion investment plan for Africa, as part of the European Union’s Global Gateway infrastructure initiative.
Von der Leyen made the announcement at a news conference in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, as she spoke to reporters alongside President Macky Sall. Von der Leyen is in the West African nation to prepare for an EU–African Union summit scheduled for next week.
“Today I am proud to announce more than one hundred seventy one billion dollars through the Africa-Europe programme, she said. This is the very first regional plan under Global Gateway, two months after the launch of the scheme. It will be led by the European team and implemented in partnership with you.” However Ursula Von der Leyen did not offer details about how the money would be raised or spent.
“Partnership for shared growth”
The chairperson of the African Union, Macky Sall welcomed the annoucement: “Europe and Africa should work together, firstly because of our geographical proximity, the peace and stability of our two continents are closely linked. Secondly, with its human and natural resources and its development needs, Africa offers Europe opportunities for investment and partnerships for shared growth and prosperity.”
The multi-billion dollars investment is part of the EU investment scheme for infrastructure. The European Union’s Global Gateway investment scheme, which aims to mobilise investments of up to 340 billion dollars for public and private infrastructure around the world by 2027. It is seen by some as a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative. The scheme will draw on private-sector investments as well as funding from EU institutions and member countries.
The EU chief arrived in Senegal on Wednesday to prepare for the EU AU summit scheduled on February 17-18. “At the summit, investments will be at the heart of the discussions because they are the means of our shared ambition,” von der Leyen said.