On 12 November 2019, in the margins of the 2019 Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, the European Commission signed two new guarantee agreements with European and African development finance institutions. The two guarantees will significantly boost investment and access to finance for small businesses (MSMEs), especially in the technology sector:
The FMO Ventures Programme”, a €40 million guarantee agreement with the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), will target start-up companies offering digital solutions for example in agriculture, energy, education, healthcare and transport.
Archipelagos One4A - One Platform for Africa, a €30 million guarantee agreement with Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Italian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank (AfDB), will support access to finance across Africa for high potential small businesses.
The agreements, together worth €70 million, are expected to unlock more than €500 million new investment in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood, especially in the technology sector, while creating up to 175,000 jobs directly and indirectly. They aim to mitigate and share the risk of investments in countries with difficult environments. The guarantees are part of the EU External Investment Plan (EIP), which is using public funds to leverage investment in in countries neighbouring the EU and in Africa. This is a key element of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs with the aim to support job creation and sustainable development through increased investments.