The European Business Council for Africa

The African Development Bank and partners on Tuesday launched a new Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (iDICE) programme.

The initiative, with investments totalling $618 million, will attract direct investments in more than 200 technology and creative start-ups and provide non-financial services to about 450 digital technology, small and medium enterprises. With a potential to generate $6.4 billion into the Nigeria’s economy, iDICE is expected to create 6 million new jobs for young Nigerians.

Speaking at the launch event in the capital Abuja, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo emphasised the importance of a coordinated approach to innovation across Africa. “Government must provide more support for start-ups and small businesses, and investors must provide more funding," Osinbajo said.

The African Development Bank Group is the largest funder of iDICE, providing $170 million. The French government, through the Agence Française de Développement, will contribute €100 million ($116 million), and the Islamic Development Bank pending approval from its board is expected to provide $70 million. The Nigerian government, through its executing agency, the Bank of Industry, will provide $45 million in counterpart funding. Other institutional and private sector investors are also expected to provide additional funding for the implementation of the strategic initiative.

In today’s interconnected world, shots fired in one corner of the globe create ripple effects in other, seemingly far, places. One year since the 24 February Russian invasion of Ukraine, African countries, although physically miles away, have not been spared its aftershocks.

While much can be said about the political and policy intricacies surrounding the conflict, the real and palpable impact on the lives of many ordinary Africans is equally unsettling.

Against a backdrop of soaring food and energy prices and the shrinking basket of global economic cooperation financing, African countries are also contending with how to position themselves within the significant shifts in international energy policies, even as they are approached by various partners who are also grappling with the energy access implications for their own citizens.

In 2020, 15 African countries imported over 50 per cent of their wheat products from the Russian Federation or Ukraine. Six of these countries (Eritrea, Egypt, Benin, Sudan, Djibouti, and Tanzania) imported over 70 per cent of their wheat from the region.


Approval Date: 21 December 2022
Project name: Technical Assistance for Dam Design and Interconnection Studies
Amount: €201,000


The grant, extended through the Bank's Technical Assistance Fund for Middle-Income Countries, will support technical assistance to the Government of Morocco for the design of dams, river development and inter-basin interconnection studies. The beneficiary institution is the Directorate of Hydraulic Development of the Ministry of Equipment and Water.

Global experts meeting during a panel session at the second international summit on food production in Dakar called for accelerated avenues to close the financial gap in agriculture and address barriers to the growing finance market for agricultural Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The discussions come in the wake of supply chain disruptions as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, high commodity prices that have led to increased food and nutrition insecurity.

The session, titled, Closing the Financing Gap was moderated by Alan Kasujja, Presenter, BBC World Service.

Economic growth in Africa is forecast to slow down this year while the level of economic activities remains below the pre-pandemic level, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2023, which was launched today.

A series of severe and mutually reinforcing shocks — the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and resulting food and energy crises, surging inflation, debt tightening, as well as the climate emergency — battered the world economy in 2022. Against this backdrop, world output growth is projected to decelerate from an estimated 3.0 per cent in 2022 to 1.9 per cent in 2023, marking one of the lowest growth rates in recent decades.

The report presents a gloomy and uncertain economic outlook for the near term. Global growth is forecast to moderately pick up to 2.7 per cent in 2024 as some of the headwinds will begin to subside. However, this is highly dependent on the pace and sequence of further monetary tightening, the course and consequences of the war in Ukraine, and the possibility of further supply-chain disruptions.

The tepid global economic prospects also threaten the achievement of the the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose mid-point review lies ahead at the 2023 SDG Summit in September.

Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen launched today a Regional Teachers' Initiative in Africa and for Africa, a €100 million investment from the EU budget in empowering the world's fastest growing youth population through quality education. This flagship initiative under the EU–Africa Global Gateway Investment Package aims to accelerate the training of teachers for Sub-Saharan Africa, responding to the need for 15 million new qualified teachers for Africa by 2030. The initiative will contribute to regional and national objectives by supporting and complementing national education and teacher reforms, offer opportunities for cross-country collaboration, partnerships, and peer learning in the region and with Europe.

As Team Europe, the EU and its Member States will invest more than €280 million in grants in South Africa, including €87.75 million from the EU budget, to support policy reforms on green recovery, unlock green investments and build a knowledge-based transition in the framework of the Just and Green Recovery Team Europe Initiative for South Africa launched today in Pretoria as part of Global Gateway.

Through this partnership with South Africa, the Just and Green Recovery Team Europe Initiative will support the country in achieving its national goal to tackle the country's pressing socio-economic challenges through policy dialogue, facilitating investment, including for public infrastructure and to unlock a sustainable, biodiversity friendly and circular economy and combat climate change.

On 24-25 January, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, and Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, will visit Southern Africa to enhance ties between the EU and Namibia and mark the 33rd anniversary of the EU-Namibia Partnership.

During the joint visit, which is a demonstration of EU’s consistent and comprehensive engagement with partners in Africa, both Commissioners will exchange views with President Geingob, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Nandi-Ndeitwah, on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of shared interest. The focus of the visit will be to enhance cooperation under Global Gateway, the EU’s positive offer to partners to deliver trusted and sustainable connections with partner countries. The visit will be an opportunity to discuss how to take forward the Memorandum of Understanding on the EU-Namibia Partnership on Sustainable Raw Materials and Renewable Hydrogen signed by President von der Leyen and President Geingob at COP27. This partnership will support both Namibia and the EU’s climate ambitions and bring added value to the local economy.

In 2020, coinciding with the beginning of the pandemic, which had a dramatic impact on trade, the EU and its Member States collectively invested €23 billion in Aid for Trade. A wide variety of EU Aid for Trade programmes have been put in place to assist partner countries in facing the recovery from the COVID-19.

“Trade is a powerful tool to generate economic growth and reduce inequalities. Aid for Trade has proved efficient to help recovery from the many shocks in partner countries. Through Global Gateway, the European Union boosts smart, clean and secure links and connections with and between its partners. Our Aid for Trade is crucial in this effort”, said Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen.

EU collective Aid for Trade reached its highest levelin 2020.The 2022 progress Report confirms the EU and its Member States as one of the main world's leading Aid for Trade providers, with €23 billion invested in 2020, a growing figure compared to the €17.9 billion of 2019. It represents 47 % of all Aid for Trade from bilateral and multilateral sources. The main part of the EU collective Aid for Trade goes to Africa, followed by Asia. Between 2011 and 2020, EU Aid for Trade increased by 60%, namely from € €14 to €23 billion.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $40 million Trade Finance Package in favor of Bank One Limited of Mauritius. The financial package comprises a $25 million Risk Participation Agreement and a $15 million Transaction Guarantee.

The transaction guarantee facility will allow the Bank to provide, on a transaction basis, up to 100% guarantee to confirming banks for the non-payment risk arising from the confirmation of trade finance instruments issued by Bank One. On the other hand, the risk participation agreement will provide up to 50% guarantee cover on a portfolio basis to support trade finance transactions originated by issuing banks in regional member countries. This financial support is expected to help Bank One increase its capacity to support the trade finance needs of key sectors, including Small- and Medium–sized Enterprises (SMEs) and local corporates in Mauritius and across the continent.