Ouagadougou, 22 June, 2010
EIB President welcomes second revision of Cotonou agreement and signs technical support for Liberian energy project through West African Power Pool
Earlier today the European Union and 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) proceeded to the signature, in Ouagadougou, of the second revision of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. The latter will notably allow the European Investment Bank to enhance its financing of regional infrastructure projects together with ACP sponsors. It will also offer the possibility for the Bank to accompany South African intermediaries in their drive towards regional economic integration for projects located in the rest of Africa.
During the ACP-EU Joint Council, EIB President Philippe Maystadt reiterated the Bank’s commitment to actively contribute to the financing of climate change projects in developing countries and proposed to launch an EU climate action initiative together with the European Commission and EU Member States.
Alongside the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers, President Maystadt also signed a technical assistance agreement with Mr. Amadou Diallo, Secretary General of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) for the preparation of the “Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project”. The signing of the agreement took place in the presence of EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, as well as the Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy of Liberia, Dr. Eugene Shannon and the Managing Director of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, Mr. Joseph Mayah. The implementation of the hydropower rehabilitation project will enable Liberia to respond to its power needs as well as those of the sub-region through the WAPP interconnected grid. The overall project will contribute to economic development, poverty reduction and trade in post-conflict Liberia. This EUR 1.5 million assistance programme will be funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, managed by the EIB (cf.http://eu-africa-infrastructure-tf.net).
European Investment Bank President Philippe Maystadt said: “The project is conducted in the framework of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund in which the EIB and the European Commission are prominent and proud stakeholders together with EU Member States and their development institutions. Through this instrument, the EU and Africa are working together to promote viable regional infrastructure schemes that foster wider African development. In this respect, the WAPP constitutes a key partner. We, on the EIB side, are looking forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Mr. Diallo (WAPP’s Secretary-General)”.
Since the entry into force of the Cotonou Agreement in 2003, about EUR 4.2 bn worth of projects have been signed by the EIB under its Cotonou mandate in ACP countries, more than a third being in the infrastructure sector (energy, transports, telecommunication as well as water and sewerage).
Notes for Editors:
The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 European Union member states, has been active across Africa for over 40 years. EIB activities follow policies and objectives set down by European Union member states, whose finance ministers are the EIB’s Governors.
The EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, through the blending of grants, provided by the European Commission and a number of EU Member States, with long term loan finance made available by the EIB and European Development Finance Institutions, is proving to be an important instrument of the EU-Africa Partnership on Infrastructure, promoting cross-border infrastructure investments in sub-Saharan Africa.
The West African Power Pool (WAPP) organisation was established by the highest decision making body of ECOWAS, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of Member States, as a mechanism and institutional framework for integrating the national power systems of ECOWAS member countries and help meet the energy needs of the ECOWAS citizenry by providing least cost reliable and sustainable electricity supply for economic development.