Responding to encouraging signals coming from Africa in recent years, and based on a new determination to significantly step up its efforts, the European Council adopted a new EU Strategy for Africa in December 2005. With this new Strategy, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to peace, stability and development and defined a single comprehensive, integrated and long-term framework for its relations with the whole of Africa.
The establishment of the EU-Africa Partnership on Infrastructure is one of the main actions that underpins the EU Strategy for Africa. The Partnership was launched in October 2007 in Addis Ababa by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission. The European Commission believes that regional cooperation and integration is the best tool to increase security, to boost trade and prosperity and to further sustainable human development.
Improving infrastructure and infrastructure-related services will contribute to sustainable economic growth, promote regional trade, foster regional integration and reduce poverty. The EU will support Africa’s efforts to identify and address the missing links in existing networks, harmonize transport policies, develop integrated water management, develop cross-border and regional energy infrastructure and promote efforts to bridge the digital divide.
The EU-Africa Partnership on Infrastructure is a valuable addition to the long term support provided by the European Union to infrastructure development in Africa. It aims to substantially increase EU investment in African infrastructure and delivery of transport, energy, water and ICT services. Achieving these objectives also depends on an improved economic and business environment which constitutes the basis for expanding infrastructure and trade.
Among other resources, EUR 5.6 billion from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF, 2008-2013) and an innovative financial instrument, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, will be supporting this Partnership.