The European Union has approved a package of financial guarantee programmes worth €800 million. This will aid in leveraging an estimated €8-9 billion in public and private investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood.

This is a major step towards delivering investments in Africa and the Neighbourhood through the EU’s External Investment Plan (EIP). The EIP aims to promote inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development and in this way to tackle some of the root causes of irregular migration.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said, “The EU’s External Investment Plan has already started to bring real benefits to the people in our partner countries. These guarantee programmes for sustainable investment give now access to affordable loans to people who have been forced to flee their country and those who have recently returned home to rebuild their lives: to start small businesses or to have access to new technologies. This plan is about building a new present for many people and for their countries, it is about changing lives, now and for good.”

“We are on the right track towards achieving our commitment under the External Investment Plan: Since its launch last September, we have mobilised €800 million in guarantees and €1.6 billion in blending, which will overall translate into over €22 billion public and private investments. This will support much needed investment in sustainable development and decent job creation particularly in Africa”, said Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said, “We want to see the new EU guarantees that we have announced translate into concrete, innovative and sustainable projects on the ground, making a real change for the people. More prosperity in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood is not only good for our European economies and businesses. It is a long-term investment in the stability and security of our partners in the neighbourhood and for Europe.”