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OeEB and EIB launch €100m COVID-19 resilience investment initiative

Staff writer
May 26, 2021, 2:21 p.m.
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The Development Bank of Austria, OeEB and European Investment Bank (EIB) have launched a €100m African private sector COVID-19 resilience investment initiative.

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The Development Bank of Austria, OeEB and European Investment Bank (EIB) have launched a €100m African private sector COVID-19 resilience investment 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.

Gernot Blümel, Federal Minister of Finance of the Republic of Austria and Governor of the European Investment Bank, said: ”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 €100m 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,” he said.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, said that 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 €100m to ensure that private sector business across Africa can access long-term financing, create jobs and invest during these challenging times,” he said.

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.

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.

Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata, Members of OeEB’s Executive Board, added: ”Improving access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses – particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and the world’s Least Developed Countries – has been one of our core goals for many years. Especially now, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which hits SMEs hardest, it has become even more important.”

“We are therefore delighted that this cooperation with the European Investment Bank enables us to provide targeted, much needed support to the private sector and businesses across Africa which helps ensure ongoing investments and secures jobs,” they said.

 

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