The Development Bank of Austria and European Investment Bank have launched a €100 million African private sector COVID-19 resilience investment initiative.
Business Elites Africa understands that the initiative will accelerate business investment, increase economic resilience to COVID-19 across Africa and create thousands of jobs. The scheme will also strengthen access to long-term financing, as well as provide both direct loans to companies in Africa through local financial partners.
African entrepreneurs and businesses that were most impacted by the pandemic will be able to benefit from the €100 million private sector financing initiative.
The programme will enhance access to long-term financing across sub-Saharan Africa, help to create thousands of jobs and accelerate sustainable development and poverty reduction. The first joint business financing supported by the two institutions will provide both direct loans to companies in Africa and financing managed by local banks.
“This first cooperation between the Development Bank of Austria, and the European Investment Bank will provide timely support for private sector investment across Africa and strengthen sustainable development during challenging times. Austria is committed to supporting high-impact investment in Africa and I welcome this new EUR 100 million COVID-19 economic resilience initiative that will support thousands of jobs in businesses and help companies large and small to tackle the impact of the pandemic,” said Gernot Blümel, Federal Minister of Finance of the Republic of Austria and Governor of the European Investment Bank.
“Companies across Africa and Europe are faced by unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19, with disruption to exports and the need to rapidly change business activity. The European Investment Bank is pleased to join forces with OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria, to provide EUR 100 million to ensure that private sector business across Africa can access long-term financing, create jobs and invest during these challenging times,” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.
Addressing poverty, delivering SDGs and helping Africa companies impacted by COVID-19
Reflecting the crucial need to strengthen economic resilience and private sector investment during the pandemic the new financing scheme will be able to support a broad range of eligible investments by African small and medium sized enterprises.
The new initiative will contribute towards sustainable development goals, including SDG 1 “No Poverty” and SDG 8 “Decent work and economic growth.
Backing business investment across key sectors
The new financing is available immediately to support investment by agribusinesses, manufacturing and service sector businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.
Through this credit line, OeEB and EIB will provide funding to multiple financial institutions and directly to private business to address the adverse consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on private businesses and to contribute to the financial inclusion of SMEs.
The EIB is the world’s largest international public bank and last year provided EUR 5 billion for public and private investment across Africa supported by nine regional offices across the continent.