Saturday, June 15, 2024

AfDB, EU infrastructure deal revitalizes Lobito Corridor

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European Commission (EC) and the African Development Bank Group have formalised a new Financial Framework Partnership Agreement to boost investments in infrastructure projects in Africa.

One of the main joint projects is the development of the Lobito Corridor, an innovative transport corridor that will enhance export possibilities for Zambia, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to boost the circulation of goods and to promote the mobility of citizens.

At the Global Gateway Forum in October 2023 the EU and the African Development Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Global Partners to mobilise financing for the development of this corridor.

Other partners include the host governments of Angola, DRC and Zambia, the US Government and the Africa Finance Corporation.

The partnership was signed on the sidelines of this week’s Italy-Africa Summit.

The deal opens a wide range of opportunities for both organisations to deliver new joint financing for infrastructure projects.

For the EU, this would be in keeping with the priorities of the Global Gateway, its strategy to deliver sustainable and trusted connections with partner countries.

Between 2021 and 2027, through the Africa-EU Global Gateway Investment Package, the EU will support the African continent with €150 billion worth of investments.

“This agreement will empower us to support ambitious infrastructure projects across Africa under Global Gateway, Europe’s investment strategy for the world,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

On his part AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina said: “The signing of this important Financial Framework Partnership Agreement marks the positive evolution of the relationship between Africa and the European Union.

It will enable the African Development Bank Group and the European Commission to leverage on their respective resources to significantly support transformative investments in African countries and build resilient and sustainable economies.”

Last year the Lobito Corridor member states signed the Lobito Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (LCTTFA) which aims to provide an effective and efficient route that facilitates the transportation of goods within territories between the three Corridor Member States, through harmonisation of policies, laws and regulations.

The Lobito Corridor, once in operation will present an alternative strategic route to export markets for Zambia and DRC and offers the shortest route linking key mining regions in these two countries to the sea.

In Angola, the Corridor connects 40% of the country’s population and several large scale investments taking place in agriculture and retail in the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, Bie, and Moxico.

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