How the EIB is helping to unlocking change in Africa

Published: May 6, 2024

After nearly 60 years on the continent, the European Investment Bank is redoubling its focus on high-impact projects in Africa.  

Africa is widely deemed to be at a crossroads. On one hand, the continent is undergoing explosive development. It is on the brink of a digital revolution and a much-touted infrastructure boom. On the other hand, many of the global challenges we are facing – climate shocks, mass displacement of populations – stand to hit Africa especially hard. In short, African economies sit on the precipice of great opportunities and grave risks alike.

It’s a situation that Markus Berndt, deputy managing director, EIB Global Directorate, knows well. As the development finance arm of the European Investment Bank (EIB), EIB Global brings together all the EIB’s activities beyond the European Union. Africa is a critical region in focus. 

“Africa has impressed the world by leapfrogging to adopt digital payments, overcoming the impact of floods and drought and resisting the impact of global energy and food shocks,” Berndt tells EMEA Finance. “However, Africa still faces a dire infrastructure funding gap, and Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other global regions on access to energy, clean water, and digital infrastructure. Conflict and a refugee crisis are causing new challenges and investor uncertainty.”

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