Sub-Saharan African entrepreneurs and businesses most impacted by the economic, health and social challenges triggered by Covid-19 will be able to benefit from a new €100-million private sector financing initiative backed by the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
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 OeEB and the EIB will provide timely support for private sector investment across Africa and strengthen sustainable development during challenging times.
“Austria is committed to supporting high-impact investment in Africa and I welcome this new €100-million Covid-19 economic resilience initiative that will support thousands of jobs in businesses and help companies large and small to tackle the impact of the pandemic,” says Austria Finance Minister and EIB governor Gernot Blümel.
EIB president Werner Hoyer adds that companies across Africa and Europe are faced with unprecedented challenges caused by Covid-19, with disruption to exports and the need to rapidly change business activity.
“Improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – 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,” comments OeEB executive board members Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata.
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 SMEs.
The new financing is available immediately to support investment by agribusinesses, as well as manufacturing and service sector businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.
Through this credit line, the OeEB and the 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.