Rwanda, European Investment Bank ink deal on raw material partnership

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· Rwandan President Kagame and European Commission President von der Leyen witness agreement

Rwanda first country in Africa to partner with EIB to unlock critical raw materials investment
· New cooperation will strengthen cooperation to identify investment opportunities, scale up investment in critical raw material supply chain and increase recycling

Rwanda and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed a Joint Declaration enabling a strategic alliance to enhance investment in critical raw material value chains. This landmark agreement will strengthen technical and financial cooperation to identify critical raw material sector investment that creates skilled jobs, supports economic development, and ensure environmentally and socially responsible development of critical raw material resources.

The signature of the partnership by European Investment Bank Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti and Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning was witnessed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning emphasised the positive impact on the nation’s development, stating, “This Joint Declaration with the European Investment Bank aligns with Rwanda’s commitment to sustainable economic development. We look forward to leveraging this exciting new partnership to create skilled jobs, support our economy, and ensure the responsible utilization of critical raw materials.”

Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti highlighted that “This new partnership represents an important step in line with the CRM Act. It is important to secure access to the critical raw material value chain in accordance with the required ESG standards and without which the green and digital transition is not possible. By working together, Africa and Europe can unlock new investment, create new jobs and contribute to the responsible development of essential resources.”

This is the first critical raw materials agreement between the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank, and an African partner. Today’s agreement follows agreements between the European Commission and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zambia.

With the newly formed partnership, the European Investment Bank actively supports the implementation of the European Critical Raw Materials Act, a crucial step toward securing an affordable and sustainable supply of critical raw materials. This Act, announced by the European Commission in March 2023 and adopted by the European Parliament in September 2023, sets the stage for a sustainable and resilient raw material value chain.

Following today’s agreement, EIB Global technical and financing teams will increase cooperation with critical raw material partners to explore new investment opportunities and increase access to finance for environmentally sound projects that contribute to the sustainable long-term economic development.

The collaboration signifies a collective effort to foster sustainable development, strengthen economic ties, and address the growing global demand for critical raw materials, including base metals, battery materials and rare earths.

The Joint Declaration was signed by European Investment Bank Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti during a two-day visit to Kigali.

During the visit, Vice-President Vigliotti also confirmed EIB support for the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, attended the inauguration of Africa’s first mRNA vaccine production plant and met political and development finance leaders.

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