Namibia to benefit from European fund on sustainable development

19 Sep 2016 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 19 SEP (NAMPA) – Namibia is among 26 African countries to tap into the European External Investment Plan (EIP) that aims to assist investment projects and attract investment to implement the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Monday, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Namibia Jana Hybášková said the EU has allocated over Euro 3.35 billion (approximately N.dollars 52.8 billion) from the EU budget and the European Development Fund.
She said the plan aims to boost investment in Africa and EU countries to support social and economic infrastructure and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by addressing obstacles to private investment.
“The EIP will support innovative guarantees and similar instruments in support of private investment, enabling to mobilise up to Euro 44 billion of investments.”
The ambassador said there is no specific allocation of funds to Namibia yet or the number of projects to benefit from this plan.
Her office, she said, will officially communicate this plan to the Namibian Government through meetings with Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein.
The plan will involve the technical assistance for broader policy environment to support public authorities and companies in partner countries, while also improving the general business environment by fostering good governance, fighting corruption, removing barriers to investment and market distortions.
“It is a unique opportunity for African countries to promote their business and create jobs. We are sure that the EIP is open to any investments to tap into the money and use it wisely.”
The targeted areas of intervention include supporting industrial parts for increased employment creation in demand-driven markets; increasing agricultural productivity in areas with potential for high growth and exports; and supporting transport infrastructure to connect areas of high agricultural productivity to local, regional and international markets.
She said public and private companies are eligible to gain from the plan by submitting investment proposals under the investment window (targeted area of intervention) and signing a guarantee agreement with the European Commission.
According to her, the plan's criteria for investment proposals is quite relaxed and only require for a project to contribute to economic and social investment; target the socio-economic sector; maximise private sector leverage by addressing bottlenecks to investments; and be additional to the market and other instruments funded by EU and member states budgets.
Investment proposals will have to support the objectives of EU policies and the relevant policy and political dialogues with partner countries.