The European Investment Bank is a key instrument of the development aid policy for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, which have had ties with the European Union for more than 45 years. This strategy is consistently based on fostering economic growth as a means of reducing poverty. Support to the private sector, notably via the local financial sector, as well as to industrial projects and large infrastructures are the bank's priorities. Since the launch of its activities in these regions in late 2008, it has lent 12.2 billion for almost 1,200 projects in the ACP states. The EIB invested another 763.5 million in the ACP states in 2008.

The future of the EIB's activity in the ACP countries to the end of the decade lies in the hands of EU member states, which will negotiate the next budget for 2014-2019 starting in 2011.


The EIB has been present in Africa since 1963, following the signature of the first Yaounde Convention. This agreement established contractual relations between Europe and 18 African states, Madagascar and Mauritius in the areas of trade, market access and development and its financing. The main objective, notes the bank, is to support projects with sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits. The bank supplements direct aid from the European budget and the European Development Fund (EDF) with repayable aid granted as loans or guarantees, as well as contributions of equity capital or quasi-equity funding.

With the Cotonou Agreement concluded by the EU and the 78 ACP countries in 2000, which entered into force in April 2003 and is valid until 2020, the EU strengthened and enlarged its policy of support for the sustainable economic development of the ACP states, with a view to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDG). "Our two priority goals are the alleviation of poverty and support to sustainable economic growth," said a spokesperson for the EIB. These priorities are enshrined in the Cotonou Agreement, divided into three financial periods. For 2008-2013, the financing agreement concluded under the Cotonou Partnership II establishes a budget of more than 24 billion made available via the 10th EDF. The means available to the EIB amount toa2 billion in EIB own funds, plusa3.1 billion in reimbursable EDF aid granted through the EIB-managed investment facility. In 2008, the bank lent 326 billion under the Investment Facility and 427.5 million from own funds, of...

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