A delegation representing the European Investment Bank (EIB) is on a week-long visit of Uganda to discuss a pipeline of investment opportunities in the country with key stakeholders.
Led by the Head of the EIB Regional Hub for Eastern Africa, Edward Claessen, the delegation is visiting the ministries of water, transport, energy, housing, finance and justice. EIB Global is keen to grow its investment portfolio in the country to support the European Union’s Global Gateway initiative of providing long-term financing and tackling investment gaps to accelerate high-impact projects that contribute to delivering sustainable development and are technically, socially and environmentally sound.
Speaking during the visit, the EIB’s Edward Claessen said: “Uganda has enormous potential, but faces huge investment needs. These have been worsened by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, energy and inflation shocks triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Ugandan government requires support of partners such as the EU and the EIB for economic recovery, sustained growth and job creation, funding and investment.”
The EU Ambassador to Uganda, Jan Sadek, welcomed the visit. He pointed to the important role that EIB Global, as part of #TeamEurope, plays in the fostering of sustainable growth in Uganda. “The European Union’s cooperation with Uganda aims to respond to the country’s most pressing needs by supporting sustainable development through sound economic policies and good governance,” he said.
To date, EIB Global has provided over EUR 498 million (UGX 2 trillion) to Uganda through the financing of 31 projects primarily in support of private sector businesses, energy, water, sewerage, transport, industry, telecom, services, and agriculture, fisheries and forestry. Some notable ones include the Eastern Africa Transport Corridor project, the Bujagali Hydroelectric Project and the Lake Victoria water and sanitation project in Kampala.
EIB Global’s priority activities in Uganda address key challenges, for example by supporting climate adaptation and mitigation projects that build the resilience of vulnerable communities and improving access to finance especially for the SMEs and micro-enterprises.
Apart from its public sector lending to governments, EIB Global recognises that strong financial intermediaries are key to addressing market challenges and suboptimal investment situations. EIB Global is building on its many years of experience and partnership with banks, microfinance institutions and equity funds by supporting their efforts to innovate and enhance the scope and inclusiveness of their outreach. It also considers non-banking financial institutions, such as guarantee funds, leasing companies or fintechs, that have a financial model to enable greater outreach to underserved smaller businesses.
EIB Global in partnership with the various financial institutions in Uganda has provided over EUR 203 million (UGX 815 billion) so far to support private sector businesses, targeting agriculture and gender-equality focused projects. Accompanying technical assistance was also offered to these banks or microfinance institutions and their clients across a wide range of topics including risk management, product development, environmental and social assessment, financial literacy among others.
EIB Global has been steadily increasing its investments in Africa, with project investment on the continent accounting for nearly 40% of all investment outside the European Union.