EIC Africa Workshop convenes members and business partners face-to-face in Lisbon

29 April 2022

Lisbon, 29 April 2022: After a pandemic-related intermission of more than 30 months, around 90 participants from 15 countries, representing EIC member federations, member companies and partners, took the opportunity to convene for a face-to-face event on ‘Infrastructure Finance in Africa’ in the context of EIC’s Spring Conference in Lisbon. EIC President Chauvin expressed his great relief and satisfaction on this respectable turnout given that such level of interest could not have been taken for granted by EIC and its Portuguese Member, FEPICOP, when they took the decision to organise once again a physical meeting some nine months ago.

Despite the Workshop’s thematic focus on Africa’s infrastructure market and the related opportunities for European international contractors, the event was opened by a key-note speech from the former Deputy Prime-Minister of Portugal, Paulo Portas, analysing the impact of Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine on the geopolitical situation.

In the course of the Workshop, speakers from the Portuguese development finance institution SOFID and from McKinsey highlighted the significant infrastructure needs in Africa and perceived an ‘infrastructure paradox’ to the extent that despite a large pipeline of potential projects not enough money is being spent on continental and national infrastructure.

Representatives from the European Commission and from EIB Global, the EIB’s new development arm, set out the structure and the investment priorities of the new EU Global Gateway strategy and the EIB’s comprehensive offer for collaborating with the private sector to reduce Africa’s infrastructure gap. Experts from the African Development Bank and from the French bilateral development bank, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), underlined the potential for combined financing activities of their organisations with the EU Institutions, whilst Standard Chartered Bank highlighted the capacity of structured finance options, involving export credit agencies, to help European contractors win infrastructure contracts in Africa.

EIC has published all available presentation on its Conference Website