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Spain joined the African Development Fund in 1973 and the African Development Bank in 1984. Spain’s policy towards Africa is underlined by key operational principles such as supporting peace and security, consolidating human rights and governance, and combating hunger, poverty and social exclusion. Spain also promotes investment and trade relations, sustainable socio-economic development, partnerships on microfinance and reinforcing bilateral and multilateral relations with Africa. From a geographical perspective, Spanish development cooperation policy targets North Africa in particular but also Western Africa. The main thematic areas of intervention include water, microfinance, gender and agriculture. The Minister for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness and the Spanish Government’s development agency, AECID implement Spain’s development program for its joint initiatives with the Bank, which include several multi-donor thematic initiatives in the private sector, infrastructure, and water sectors.
The bilateral agreement with Spain was terminated in 2012. Since 1995, Spain provided support to private sector initiatives, public utilities, transport and environment. The agreement supported the Bank in project identification, preparation, evaluation, studies and experts.
In July 2009, the Bank and Spain signed a bilateral Microfinance Capacity Building Trust Fund with a commitment of Euro 5 million to deepening the outreach of the African financial sector. There is a special emphasis on targeting women entrepreneurs while promoting SME access to microfinance.
Since 2008, Spain has contributed EUR 12 million to the African Water Facility, which assists African countries to mobilize and apply resources for the water and sanitation sector to help implement the Africa Water Vision (2025) and meet the MDGs (2015).
Spain committed to investing US $20 million in 2010 as an equity investment in the African Guarantee Fund, which channels guarantees and technical assistance to financial institutions in Africa to generate enhanced SME growth thereby creating employment opportunities for the youth.
In January 2011, Spain contributed EUR 2 million to the NEPAD-Infrastructure Project Preparation facility, which aims to assist African countries, Regional Economic Communities and other specialized agencies to prepare high quality regional infrastructure projects, develop a consensus and partnership for project implementation, and promote infrastructure projects and programs aimed at enhancing regional integration and trade.