By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The African Development Bank, AfDB, and the European Investment Bank, EIB, have signed a Joint Partnership Action Plan (JPAP) to fast-track development in the African continent.
The agreement was signed by AfDB’s Acting Senior Vice President, Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, and Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President, during a virtual ceremony attended by more than 100 stakeholders from across Africa and Europe.
According to the AfDB in a statement yesterday, the deal highlighted their strengthened cooperation and mutual development priorities and a strong shared emphasis on boosting public and private sector investment in Africa.
The Joint Action Plan would enable both institutions to grow a shared pipeline of bankable projects around key complementary themes to which each institution would bring their comparative advantage.
Identified themes were: climate action and environmental sustainability; transformative large-scale quality infrastructure investment; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and services; financial inclusion with a gender lens aimed at the empowerment of girls and women; education and training; and the health sector.
The signing came amid the on-going COVID-19 pandemic which is increasing poverty across the African continent and threatening markets and livelihoods, heightening the urgency for action.
“It is crucial that more multinational development banks and other development finance institutions commit to closer and stronger collaboration, such as seen through this Joint Action Plan between the AfDB and the EIB, in order to more efficiently and effectively support our regional member countries during these troubling times.
“Sustainable economic growth and security in regions facing particular challenges, such as the Sahel and Horn of Africa, are our top priority,” said Tshabalala.
In his own remarks, Mr. Östros said, “Partnerships are crucial for the EIB’s business and impact, and this partnership with Africa’s Bank is crucial for Africa.”