AfDB to strengthen cooperation with the European Commission
Following a series of recent high level interactions between African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Donald Kaberuka, and European Commission (EC) Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, the AfDB hosted in Tunis, Tunisia on 19-20 November 2013 a mission from the European Commission (EC) Directorate General of Europe Aid Development & Cooperation. The objective of the mission was to give impetus for a reinforced strategic cooperation framework and to collaborate further on concrete joint actions in priority areas.
During the exchanges Tim Turner, AfDB Group Chief Risk Officer, underlined the willingness of both institutions to deepen their cooperation further, noting that the Bank has “developed strengths as a lender”. The meeting also comprised an exchange of strategies, priorities and project pipelines.
Both institutions shared experiences on their financing instruments, for the private sector in particular, in which the EC has established a new European Union (EU) Blending Platform. The AfDB and the EC have a robust ongoing collaboration through the EU Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (ITF) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) framework amongst others.
The AfDB will participate in the reform of the Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) and the EU- Africa Summit in April 2014 in Brussels. The EC also expressed its keen interest in providing financial support in a number of sectors and initiatives which are currently under discussion. These include research and knowledge (African Economic Outlook), Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), African Legal Support Facility and PIDA related projects.
The EC expressed interest to collaborate with the AfDB in fragile states including Somalia. The EC director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Francesca Mosca, noted the “EC’s appreciation for AfDB’s active role in Somalia and South Sudan”.
The EC further reiterated its support to transport under the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund and was keen on further dialogue relating to trade facilitation. The AfDB and the EC also explored avenues of collaboration on social protection and migration.
The AfDB concluded on 25-26 September 2013 its 13th African Development Fund (ADF-13) consultations and the EC is currently undergoing negotiations for the replenishment of its 11th European Development Fund (EDF), spanning 2014 to 2020. Under the EC’s new “Agenda for Change” policy – in which inclusive growth is integral, an indicative financial commitment of Euro 29 billion for Africa is to be discussed.
Expected outcomes from this visit include a Memorandum of Understanding and a Framework Agreement, to be concluded within the coming months.