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Rebuilding Africa

  • April 27th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

africa-map-resize.jpgA consortium of the European Commission, nine EU member countries and the European Investment Bank is funding a new initiative to help build up infrastructure in Africa.

Representatives of the partners signed a protocol at Brussels (23.4.07) committing money to sustain loans for projects, through a common trust fund, made up as follows:.

• European Commission: Grants of EU 60-million (A$ 98-7-million; dcerates.com, 26.4.07).

• Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, together: Grants of EU 27-million (AS44.4-million).

• EIB: Loans money rising to EU260 (A$427.8-million).

The European Development Commissioner, Louis Michel, said the blending of funds would give a strong base to support loans for infrastructure, in line with an EU policy on Africa, dating from December 2005.

He said African governments were being encouraged to find outside private investors for industrial and commercial projects, but investors would depend on infrastructure like reliable electricity, telecommunications, water supply and roads.

Examples of projects to be funded included a major hydroelectric scheme for Mali, Mauretania and Mali, and an undersea cable to run along the East coast of Africa, with connectors to cities along the way.

The cable, and another like it off West Africa, would lead to a dramatic reduction in inter-African communications charges, as contacts at present among African countries most often had to be routed North through Europe.

Picture: Google – www.worldaware.org.uk

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