European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday announced funding for investment in Africa worth over US $170 billion.
Von der Leyen is on a two-country Africa trip to promote Europe’s Global Gateway investment scheme. The Commission chief made the announcement in a joint press conference with Senegal President Macky Sall, who has just taken the reins of the African Union.
“Today, I’m happy to announce over €150 billion for the Africa-Europe program. It is the first regional plan under Global Gateway two months after the launch of the strategy,” von der Leyen said.
EU’s global investment strategy
The Global Gateway initiative seeks to invest €300 billion in public and private infrastructure schemes around the world by 2027.
The funding comes by way of a combination of EU funds, member state investments and capital raised by European investment banks.
The scheme has been presented by Brussels as a big step for the EU in building influence around the world.
The European Union said the Global Gateway Africa-Europe investment package would see EU members support projects in priority areas.
Investments will focus on objectives based on the green transition, including renewable energy generation and protecting biodiversity by stabilizing 3 million square kilometers (1.16 million square miles) of land.
There will also be support for sustainable agri-food systems. Efforts will also focus on sustainable growth and job creation.
On Wednesday, von der Leyen announced a green energy investment plan in Morocco valued at €1.6 billion.
The investment plan is widely considered to be a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative, which also seeks to develop infrastructure around the world and began in 2013.
The EU announced the global investment strategy in December as a way of giving global recovery a shot in the arm.