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Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) and EIB Launch Є100mn African Private Sector COVID-19 Resilience Investment Initiative

Entrepreneurs and businesses most impacted by economic, health, and social challenges triggered by COVID-19 will be able to benefit from a new EUR 100 million private-sector financing initiative backed by (OeEB), the Development Bank of Austria, and the European Investment Bank.

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.

“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.

“The project is an example of how European and national institutions can work together efficiently to achieve development goals in Africa, to address the consequences of the pandemic and to create thousands of jobs. Economic development in the African continent also helps Austrian exports in the long term,” said Gernot Blümel, Federal Minister of Finance of the Republic of Austria and Governor of the European Investment Bank.

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

“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.

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“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,” said Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata, Members of OeEB’s Executive Board.

Addressing poverty, delivering SDGs, and helping Africa companies impacted by COVID-19

Reflecting the crucial need to strengthen economic resilience and private sector investment during the pandemic 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.

Backing business investment across key sectors

The new financing is available immediately to support investment by agribusinesses, manufacturing and service sector businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.

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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.

The EIB is the world’s largest international public bank and last year provided EUR 5 billion for public and private investment across Africa supported by nine regional offices across the continent.

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