AfDB to Match Italy’s $150m Concessional Loans for Africa

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced its commitment to match the $150 million in concessional loans and grants provided by Italy to fund projects across Africa. This initiative is part of the operationalization of Italy’s Mattei Plan for Africa, as revealed in a statement on the AfDB’s website.

Earlier this year, the Italian government introduced a project aimed at fostering development in Africa to stimulate economic growth and curb irregular migration to Europe. The launch of the Mattei Plan coincided with a 50 percent increase in migrant arrivals in Italy in 2023, according to Italy’s Interior Ministry.

The AfDB has a longstanding bilateral agreement with Italy, which includes a co-financing arrangement and a trust fund for joint projects. The bank stated, “Italy has committed approximately $150 million in highly concessional loans and grants, and the African Development Bank Group will at least match this amount. The objective is to pursue Italian and African Development Bank Group priorities as set out by the Mattei Plan for Africa and the Italian Development Cooperation strategy. This aims to foster economic and strategic partnerships with African nations and institutions by building common business opportunities and scaling up investment flows.”

The priority areas for these funds include energy, water, agriculture, health, education and training, and both physical and digital infrastructure.

Additionally, a Multi-donor Special Fund has been established to support the Mattei Plan for Africa and the Rome Process on Migration and Development. The fund will target high-impact, climate-aligned investments in key strategic sectors, supporting sovereign entities in Africa. “Thanks to its multi-donor nature, it will be able to attract other international partners to combine forces and leverage funding. An initial pledge of around $130 million in highly concessional loans and grants has been announced by Italy, with an additional commitment by the United Arab Emirates. The African Development Bank Group has committed to at least match the Fund’s contributions on each project with its resources,” the AfDB stated.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni of Italy and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, discussed the project on the sidelines of the G7 Heads of State and Government Summit in Puglia.

Dr. Adesina praised Prime Minister Meloni for launching the Mattei Plan and for selecting the AfDB as its strategic partner for implementation in Africa. He noted, “Our partnership will deliver impactful development impacts across African countries, expand access to energy, tackle climate change, support food security, boost health services, and expand skills and jobs for the youth. This will help create more economic opportunities in Africa and help stem drivers of migration.”

Prime Minister Meloni added, “Italy’s ‘Piano Mattei’ will foster economic and strategic partnerships with African nations and institutions. The African Development Bank Group is our main strategic financial partner for its implementation. Our collaboration will sustain the development of initiatives with Africa’s public and private sectors, offering additional opportunities for Italian businesses.”

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