European banks and financial institutions have pledged €30 billion in investment for countries in sub-Saharan Africa on the eve of the European Union-African Union summit in Brussels.
In a joint statement published on Wednesday, the French Development Agency (AFD) vowed to support the private sector and infrastructure in the form of loans and budget guarantees between 2023 and 2027.
"It is a question of building a new alliance between our two continents, an alliance of all the actors of solidarity and sustainable investment, public and private," said AFD Director-General Rémy Rioux.
The money is part of the Global Gateway plan, which is supposed to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private funds by 2027 in infrastructure projects around the world, half of which to the African continent.
The investment will flow into renewable energy, natural disaster risk reduction, access for Africans to internet networks, transport, vaccine production, or education.
France, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, said that Europe "must meet the financing needs of the African continent" and that the Brussels summit "must mark a return of the EU to these issues", according to a statement by the Elysée.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen traveled to Senegal last week to meet with President Macky Sall, who also chairs the African Union.
She announced a 150-billion euro ($170 billion) investment plan in Africa as part of the Global Gateway, widely seen as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s program aims to develop markets and new trade routes connecting China with the rest of the world by weaving a network of ports, bridges, and power plants that will yield diplomatic clout and global power.