The EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF) is an instrument of the wider EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership. Its role is to mobilise additional finance for key infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa, thereby increasing access to energy, transport, water and sanitation, as well as communication services.
Created in 2007, the main objective of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund's (EU-AITF) is to promote investment in infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa through various forms of grants blended with long-term financing from development finance institutions. In this way, the EU-AITF helps to mobilise additional finance for projects in the energy, transport, water and sanitation sectors, as well as ICT (information and communication technology). Ultimately, such projects contribute to poverty reduction and help foster sustainable economic growth.
EU-AITF primarily finances large regional infrastructure programmes in the African continent to facilitate interconnectivity and regional integration. It also contributes to the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All (SEA4LL) initiative with a dedicated envelope earmarked for national and/or regional energy projects that qualify under the European Union SE4ALL eligibility criteria, published by the European Commission in July 2013.
The African Union Commission is the main interlocutor of the European Union for the strategic orientation and further development of cooperation on infrastructure, in close dialogue with regional bodies, specialised agencies and African financial partners.
EU-AITF contributions support investments in projects located in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in those countries which are signatories of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.
The total EU-AITF resources amount to €812 million, of which €647.7million theEuropean Development Fund (EDF) and the remaining funds cme from EU Member States participating in the Trust Fund.
EU-AITF funding is available from two complementary envelopes:
- The regional envelope that promotes infrastructure projects with a demonstrable regional impact
The regional envelope totals €482 million, to which the European Commission allocated an overall amount of €318.7 million* from the European Development Fund (EDF), the EU’s multiannual funding instrument to support countries in the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) group.
- Since 2013, the additional Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) envelope supports regional, national and local energy projects targeting SE4ALL objectives.
The overall SE4All envelope is €330 million, to which the European Commission allocated an overall amount of €329 million from the European Development Fund (EDF).
EU-AITF provides its support through:
Investment grants (direct grants)
Interest Rate Subsidies
Risk capital and other risk sharing instruments
For the period 2007-2015, 104 grant operations (in support of 77 projects) were approved for financing with €654.9 million, representing total investment volume of €9.2 billion. The leverage effect of EU-AITF grants was thus in the range of 1:14.
The list of EU-AITF financed projects can be found here.
EU-AITF sets up partnerships, pooling grant resources from the EU and using them to leverage loans from multilateral and bilateral European Finance Institutions, as well as Regional Development Banks, together with contributions from partner countries and beneficiary institutions in Africa.
In addition to the EIB, which also acts as financial manager and hosts the Secretariat of the EU-AITF, other financial institutions that can provide technical and lending capacities via the EU-AITF include:
COFIDES, the Spanish development agency
AFD, Agence Française de Développement
Ministry of Economy and Finance, Greece
OeEB, Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG
SIMEST, Società Italiana per le Imprese all'Estero
KfW, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau
AfDB, the African Development Bank
SOFID, the Portuguese development agency
BIO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries
FINNFUND, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd
PIDG, the Private Infrastructure Development Group, which mobilises private sector investment to assist developing countries.
For further information you can contact DEVCO AITF
* € 10 million are earmarked for operations in Benin.