Somali Magazine – The European Union (EU) has recently been in the process of influencing African countries to get into better deals that will enhance infrastructure and energy transition projects, issuing an indirect dig at China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which has similar ambitions.
Speaking this week, Ursula Von der Leyen, European Commission President, said the EU’s intention is to have universal results in the economy by creating interconnections through infrastructure building and good energy supply that will help better the distribution of products and services.
“For us, it’s important that Global Gateway is about giving choices to countries—better choices. Because for many countries around the world, investment options are not only limited, but they all come with a lot of small print, and sometimes with a very high price,” said the EU president.
The collective multi-project seeks to pool $316 billion from African states and private investors with the intention of addressing the shortages of infrastructure in developing countries. Kenya, for example, signed with the European Union a €72 million ($75.91 million) grant to be subdivided into smaller amounts to finance the projects from the grassroots.
The programmes include a Green Deal #TeamEuropeKenya, Part II (€43 million, $45.32 million) to promote sustainable development, renewable energy, and environmental protection in Kenya, and another project for Strengthening Kenya’s Devolution (€10 million, $10.52 million).
In Tanzania, the EU is targeting the construction of the Kakono hydropower plant at a budget of €146 million.
This project aims to contribute to both economic development and climate change adaptation.
In the education sector, Commissioner Urpilainen signed a €46 million ($48.5 million) contract for the roll-out of the Regional Teachers’ Initiative for Africa to support the development and implementation of policies, education, and professional development for teachers.
The EU further said that it intends to build channels for critical raw materials by building the Trans-African Corridor, which will connect southern DRC and northern Zambia “to global markets via the Port of Lobito in Angola.
To achieve this, the US, EU, the African Development Bank, and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) signed a memorandum on Wednesday for a joint programme to support the Lobito Corridor and the new Zambia-Lobito rail line.
Through the margins of the Global Gateway Forum, the MOU explained that the partners will collaborate “to realize the full economic potential of the Corridor, building on the Lobito Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency,” whose agreement was signed by the three African governments.
Besides this, the EU says it will also fund a study for the development of the Walvis Bay port in Namibia, the entry point from the Atlantic side to the Walvis Bay-Maputo Corridor, one of the eleven strategic corridors named in the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package.
The EU also announced a project to lift “strategic economic corridors in southern Africa,” which will connect the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Some of the financing will come from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The US says the project is part of the US President’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) “to unlock regional trade and enable additional investments in digital connectivity, agriculture value chains, green energy supply chains, and rural health center electrification, among other transformative economic imperatives.
The EU says it will also fund a study for the development of the Walvis Bay port in Namibia, the entry point from the Atlantic side to the Walvis Bay-Maputo Corridor, one of the eleven strategic corridors named in the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package.
The EU conference however attracted leaders from more than 40 coun