Team Europe mobilises to support African economies
May 19, 2021
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen yesterday announced a Team Europe initiative in support of Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as she joined global leaders at the Summit on Financing African Economies hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
President von der Leyen said: “Europe can benefit a lot from Africa’s very young and dynamic economy. Our Team Europe initiatives therefore focus on boosting young entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses, which are the backbone of the African economy. And Europe will invest in more resilient African health systems and local vaccine production.”
The summit declaration that President von der Leyen will endorse comprises two pillars: The first is a set of commitments to address Africa’s financing needs as it works to achieve a prompt, green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
The declaration’s second pillar calls for more support for Africa’s long-term growth, driven by the development of a vibrant and young private sector and the financing of quality infrastructure. The first of these Team Europe initiatives announced, called ‘Investing in Young Businesses in Africa‘, will help micro, small and medium-sized companies across the continent take off and create jobs.
The EU, its Member States and European development finance institutions, as Team Europe, are Africa’s top partners. Over the next seven years, under the new EU financing instrument, “Global Europe”, €12.5 billion is set aside for EU’s Southern Neighbourhood, of which a significant part will go to North Africa.