The Investment Facility (IF) is a risk-bearing instrument established to promote the development of the private sector and commercially run public enterprises in the seventy-eight countries which make up the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, as well as the 20 Overseas Countries and Territories. It was created under the Cotonou Agreement between the ACPs and the then fifteen Member States of the European Union and in accordance with the Council Decision of 27 November 2001 and is managed under mandate by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The Cotonou Agreement was signed on 23 June 2000 and, following ratification, came into force on 1 April 2003, with an initial endowment from the ninth European Development Fund of EUR 2.2 billion.
2004 was the first full year of IF activity, with sixteen projects signed for a total amount of EUR 337 million.
By the end of 2004, the total portfolio of the IF comprised 24 projects, corresponding to contracts signed totalling EUR 477 million and equivalent to 23% of the IF capital endowment.