EU releases 150 billion euros to invest in Africa

DAKAR, Feb 10 (Reuters) – The European Union has earmarked more than 150 billion euros ($170 billion) for investments in Africa as part of a global fund launched to offer an alternative to Chinese money , the European Commission announced on Thursday.

The investment would represent half of Europe’s €300 billion Global Gateway programme, launched in December with the aim of strengthening European supply chains and tackling climate change in sectors such as health, energy and transport. Read more

It comes as many European states seek to reduce illegal migration from Africa, driven in part by poverty and unemployment, and as fossil fuel producers in Africa oppose tough carbon reduction targets. by rich countries to reduce global warming.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the regional plan during a press conference in Dakar with Senegalese President Macky Sall.

How the funds will be disbursed or spent is not yet clear.

When launching the Gateway fund in December, the EU said the money would come in the form of grants, loans or guarantees from EU institutions, governments, EU financial institutions and national banks of development.

An EU source said the 150 billion could come from payments of 20 billion a year, of which only 6 billion would come from EU funds and the rest from EU states and private investors.

China launched its Belt and Road Project in 2013 to boost trade ties with the rest of the world, and has spent heavily on infrastructure development in dozens of countries around the world, especially in Africa.

EU officials say the financing terms offered by Beijing are often unfavorable and opaque, and make some poorer countries, particularly in Africa, dependent on China through debt.

($1 = 0.8744 euros)

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Reporting by Edward McAllister and Francesco Guarascio; Written by Bate Felix and Edward McAllister; Editing by Catherine Evans and Kevin Liffey

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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