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EU and Finnfund launch €1 billion Africa Connected Programme

During the Global Gateway Forum, an important agreement was signed between the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and the CEO of Finnfund, Jaakko Kangasniemi. This landmark agreement, known as the Africa Connected Programme, aims to mobilize over €1 billion in sustainable investments for digital infrastructure and service platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This partnership marks a significant milestone for Finnfund, as they become a first-time implementing partner of EFSD+ Guarantees. It showcases the growing collaboration and optimistic spirit among European partners to share solutions, support, and skills for the betterment of our people, planet, prosperity, and peace.

Commissioner Urpilainen expressed her enthusiasm for the European Union’s Global Gateway Strategy, emphasizing its goal of creating a better future in partner countries. She highlighted the EU’s shared vision with Finnfund for a greener, more connected, and economically empowered digital future in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The guarantees presented through this agreement will strengthen the partnership between the EU and citizens across Africa, fostering a commitment to a more sustainable, connected, and prosperous continent.

CEO Kangasniemi emphasized Finnfund’s prioritization of the digital infrastructure and solutions sector. Recognizing digitalization as a necessary condition for development and a critical component in achieving sustainable development goals, he expressed excitement about the Africa Connected guarantee program. This program will enable accelerated investments in impactful digital infrastructure and solutions companies in Africa. Through collaboration with the European Commission, Finnfund aims to improve connectivity and the utilization of digital services in the region. This, in turn, will promote economic growth, enhance living standards, and foster inclusivity by increasing access to financial, education, and healthcare services.

We are thrilled to announce our collaboration with the European Commission and our contribution to the Global Gateway Strategy. Africa Connected aims to secure up to €1 billion in funding for debt and equity operations, supporting sustainable development and growth in the Sub-Saharan region. Our partnership with Finnfund is a testament to our dedication in addressing the urgent needs of the region and promoting private investments in viable projects in the least developed and fragile countries.

Here are the key details of the Africa Connected Programme Guarantee:

  • Geographical Focus: Our primary focus is on Sub-Saharan Africa, with a special emphasis on Least Developed Countries and fragile states.
  • Sectoral Focus: We target digital infrastructure providers, including mobile network operators, and digital platform businesses.
  • Gender Equality: The Africa Connected Programme is committed to achieving G1 status, aligning with the OECD-DAC gender equality policy marker.

The Global Gateway Forum is a platform that brings together government representatives from the European Union and around the world, along with key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, thought leaders, financial institutions, and international organizations. Its purpose is to promote global investment in infrastructure.

During this momentous occasion, we will be announcing strategic investment agreements with partner countries, marking a significant step towards the implementation of the Global Gateway strategy. These announcements not only demonstrate the tangible impact of Global Gateway on a global scale but also provide an opportunity for governments and businesses to engage in crucial discussions about its priorities.

The Global Gateway Forum showcases our collective commitment to fostering sustainable growth and resilience worldwide through a Team Europe approach.

The Global Gateway initiative is a testament to the European Union’s commitment to reducing global investment disparities and promoting sustainable connections in various sectors. By investing in digital, energy, and transport industries, as well as strengthening health, education, and research systems, we are creating opportunities for sustainable growth and security for both our global partners and Europe.

Through the collaborative efforts of the European Union, EU Member States, and European development finance institutions, the Global Gateway strategy aims to mobilize a substantial amount of up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027. This investment will not only bridge the global investment gap but also foster interdependence and essential connections.

Team Europe distinguishes itself by offering a compelling proposition to democratic partner nations. Our focus on sustainability encompasses social, environmental, and financial aspects, ensuring long-term drivers of growth. With a comprehensive 360-degree approach that includes both hard and soft infrastructure, we aim to reinforce the resilience of nations seeking strategic autonomy. Together, we can build a brighter and more prosperous future for all.

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