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Africa to receive €150 billion investment plan from EU

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African states now set to benefit from the EU’s Global Gateway investment scheme, with billions earmarked for infrastructure projects.

The President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced that funding for investment in Africa worth over €150 billion ($170 billion) on Thursday

Von der Leyen is on a two-country Africa trip to promote Europe’s Global Gateway investment scheme. The Commission chief made the announcement in a joint press conference with Senegal President Macky Sall, who has just taken the reins of the African Union.

“Today, I’m happy to announce over €150 billion for the Africa-Europe program. It is the first regional plan under Global Gateway two months after the launch of the strategy,” von der Leyen said.

The funding comes by way of a combination of EU funds, member state investments and capital raised by European investment banks.

The scheme has been presented by Brussels as a bold step for the EU in building influence around the world.

The European Union said the Global Gateway Africa-Europe investment package would see EU members support projects in priority areas.

Investments will focus on objectives based on the green transition, including renewable energy generation and protecting biodiversity by stabilizing 3 million square kilometers (1.16 million square miles) of land.

There will also be support for sustainable agri-food systems. Efforts will also focus on sustainable growth and job creation.

On Wednesday, von der Leyen announced a green energy investment plan in Morocco valued at €1.6 billion.

The investment plan is widely considered to be a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative, which also seeks to develop infrastructure around the world and began in 2013.

The EU announced the global investment strategy in December as a way of giving global recovery a shot in the arm.