The European Union has officially launched an investment program worth 150 billion euros to develop the infrastructure of African states. This is the first regional project under the initiative called "Global Portal", which is conceived by Brussels as a strategy to counter the Chinese concept of "One Belt, One Road".
Global Portal plans to invest up to $340 billion in public and private infrastructure projects around the world by 2027. The investment scheme will rely on private sector investment as well as funding from EU institutions and member states.
In a post on its website, the EU says the package will include more than $488 million for COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine deployment; Approximately $1.7 billion to strengthen health security architecture, pharmaceutical systems and manufacturing, and improve access to health care, and nearly $70 million for sexual and reproductive health and rights infrastructure.
“At the summit, investments will be in the spotlight as part of the realization of our common ambitions. In this area, Europe is Africa's most reliable partner and by far the most important," von der Leyen said at a press conference in Dakar, Senegal's capital, answering journalists' questions with President Macky Sall. Von der Leyen is in the West African country to prepare for the EU-African Union summit scheduled for next week.
One of the main goals of the EU program in Africa is to support the "green" transition, including the production of renewable energy and the protection of biodiversity, as well as helping the continent to be vaccinated against COVID-19. "In this area, Europe is Africa's most reliable partner and by far the most important," said von der Leyen.