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The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will jointly promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development in countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Both parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a framework cooperation for development finance during the EIB Africa Day in Luxembourg today.

Recognising the possibilities for synergies in their operations, the document was adopted to enhance collaboration in terms of mutual review of areas and regions of activity, as well as combined work on identification of possible projects. UNIDO will also accompany promotors during the implementation phase and carry out much of the monitoring activities once projects are underway. All these activities will be carried out not only at HQ level, but importantly also by local offices of both organisations.

Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, commented: “The collaboration with UNIDO will further enhance the EIB’s impact in ACP countries. Cooperation will focus on some of the key sectors for ACP development, most notably energy and climate action, while much attention will also be paid to agri-business. Our cooperation will facilitate mixing different sources of funding, increase the leverage of available financing, and make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The cooperation will allow the EIB to do more blending operations, where EIB loans complement grant funding available for projects. Pre-emptive discussions are already ongoing in Ethiopia and Senegal where UNIDO’s Programmes for Country Partnership are being implemented, and where the Bank may consider co-financing.

UNIDO Director General Li added: “The new agreement is part of UNIDO’s renewed efforts to establish cooperation partnerships with various international financial institutions to support and scale up business infrastructure and investments in developing countries, and further our goal of helping countries on the path of inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”

Much importance will be placed on private sector investment possibilities, where UNIDO is already heavily engaged in setting up value chains on a local level. Next week’s high-level conference in Addis Ababa will see further combined engagement between the parties to ensure effective engagement by international and local partners. Together with UNIDO, the EU’s long-term lending institution will do all it can to assist and build upon decades of engagement ACP countries.