EU chief unveils $170bn investment plan for Africa

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EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a more than 150-billion-euro ($171-billion) investment plan for Africa at a news conference in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Thursday.

It is the first regional plan of the European Union’s Global Gateway investment scheme, which aims to mobilise investments of up to 300 billion euros ($340 billion) for public and private infrastructure around the world by 2027. 

Seen as a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative, the investment scheme will draw on private-sector investments as well as funding from EU institutions and member countries.

On Thursday, Von der Leyen said that she was “proud” to announce the over 150-billion-euro ($170.8 billion) investment plan for Africa.

However she did not offer details about how the money would be raised or spent.

The president of the European Union’s powerful executive arrived in the West African state of Senegal on Wednesday to prepare for a summit between the EU and the African Union on February 17-18. 

“At the summit, investments will be at the heart of the discussions because they are the means of our shared ambition,” von der Leyen said.

“In this area Europe is the most reliable partner for Africa and by far the most important,” she added. 

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