The European Investment Bank has formally agreed a total of EUR 495 million worth of new financing for three projects to support sustainable transport, clean energy and internet access projects in North, West and East Africa. The three projects were signed at the Africa‑Europe High‑Level Forum held in Vienna at the end of 2018.

European Investment Bank to finance projects across AfricaThe new financing will support projects in Egypt, Guinea and East Africa. These include upgrades to Cairo’s main metro line to transform public transport capacity used by 20 million people; a new cross-border interconnector to enable first-time access to electricity by 200 000 people in Guinea and increased use of clean energy in Guinea, Mali, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire; and the expansion of a fibre optic internet network in five East African countries.

Cairo’s metro network is one of the busiest in the world, with more than 2.6 million passengers a day. The European Investment Bank will provide EUR 350 million to upgrade the 44km Line 1 of the Cairo Metro. Once complete, the upgrade will increase passenger capacity by 40% and improve operational reliability.

A new electricity interconnector between Guinea and Mali is a crucial link in the Western African Power Pool, providing reliable access to renewable energy to inhabitants of four countries and expanding access to thousands of people living in rural communities in Guinea. The European Investment Bank has agreed to support the new connection with EUR 130 million worth of investment, ultimately reducing the need to use costly diesel generators.

At the Africa‑Europe High‑Level Forum, the European Investment Bank also announced EUR 15.4 million support for investment by a private sector telecom provider that will connect regions currently lacking broadband internet access. A new 4 850km fibre optic network to be built in the next two years will transform communications for an estimated 9 million people in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and the Democratic republic of Congo.

Once operational, the improved telecommunications infrastructure is expected to support sustainable economic development across the region by enabling local communities to gain access to financial services, mobile health and education services, and agricultural information including commodity prices and weather alerts.

“New investment is crucial to unlock economic opportunities, improve lives and tackle the impact of a changing climate. As the EU Bank, the European Investment Bank is committed to ensuring the sustainable development goals can be achieved in Africa. Sustainable transport, clean energy and communications networks are shared challenges for Europe and Africa. Working together we can improve the lives of millions. The three projects signed today are more evidence of this.” Dr. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, said at the summit.

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