ACP countries reaffirmed the role of the private sector as the engine of growth at the annual gathering of African, Caribbean and Pacific Ambassadors hosted by the European Investment Bank, where special focus was given to microfinance and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in ACP countries.
ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni said recent developments show a renewed commitment in ACP states to expanding the sector. The ACP Group recently adopted a Strategic Framework for Private Sector Development in April 2014, and shortly after in June, the Council of Ministers approved a Joint ACP-EU Cooperation Framework for the sector under the 11th European Development Fund.
“The time is now ripe for private sector development… Now more than ever, the ACP Group knows exactly where it wants to go in terms of private sector support,” the Secretary General told the meeting, which included EIB President Werner Hoyer who opened the event, as well as representatives from the European Commission, ACP missions in Brussels, and some establishments financed through EIB.
Vice President Pim Van Ballecom highlighted key areas of notable action by the bank in ACP countries, including infrastructure investment in energy, water, transport and telecommunications; support for local entrepreneurs and smaller projects through partnerships with local banks; and climate action – that is, support for investments that cut harmful emissions while boosting resilience to climate change. Nearly two thirds of the EIB’s overall portfolio goes to the private sector.
LUXEMBOURG, (ACP PRESS)