Global Gateway Forum: EU and Finnfund Launch €1 Billion Africa Connected Programme

Global Gateway Forum: EU and Finnfund Launch €1 Billion Africa Connected Programme
27 October 2023

At the time of writing, the most significant revelation at the Global Gateway Forum is the €1 billion Africa Connected Programme, officially unveiled by the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and Finnfund CEO, Jaakko Kangasniemi. This pioneering guarantee agreement aims to mobilize in excess of €1 billion in sustainable investments for digital infrastructure and digital service platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Notably, Finnfund will assume a pivotal role as the inaugural implementing partner of the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus, the financial arm of the Global Gateway, and actively support the Africa Connected guarantee program.

The Africa Connected guarantee program, offering up to €100 million in EFSD+ guarantee capacity, will play a crucial role in stimulating sustainable investments in digital infrastructure and digital service platforms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Connected is an integral component of the Global Gateway Strategy, with a specific focus on enhancing digital connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the Least Developed Countries and nations in fragile contexts.

Some important background, the Global Gateway is the EU’s flagship global development initiative that was unveiled at the start of 2021. A total of €254.82 billion is planned to be spent on infrastructure throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. So far a total of €65.43 billion has been spent by the EU, with the rest expected to be spent by 2027 (the end of the program). With more spending being allocated in recent days due to the Global Gateway Forum.

The Global Gateway Forum, an event that brings together government representatives from the European Union and worldwide, in addition to influential stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, thought leaders, financial institutions, and international organizations. Notably, the Global Gateway Forum has unveiled a series of funding commitments by the EU aimed at supporting infrastructure development in the developing world. The following list details these significant announcements.

A List of Announcements

October 25th:


  • Global Gateway Forum: EU launches €72 Million cooperation priorities for Kenya to strengthen the green, digital and inclusive transitionsAt the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and Kenyan Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua launched the EU-Kenya cooperation priorities for 2023, reinforcing the strong ties and shared values between Kenya and the EU. Commissioner Urpilainen emphasized the EU's commitment to supporting Kenya's green, digital, and inclusive transitions, highlighting the transformative impact of initiatives like the Global Gateway in Nairobi. Deputy President Gachagua welcomed this partnership, viewing it as a stride towards a brighter future for Kenya, placing sustainable development, prosperity, and environmental sustainability at the forefront. The EU's commitment includes substantial funding for initiatives such as promoting sustainable development, strengthening devolution, enhancing security and cybersecurity, combatting Female Genital Mutilation, and facilitating cooperation and partnership between the EU and Kenya.
  • Global Gateway: EU and Bangladesh sign €400 million for renewable energy and launch negotiations on a new Partnership and Cooperation AgreementAt the Global Gateway Forum, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh marked a significant moment by launching negotiations for a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, aimed at expanding and enhancing the relationship between the EU and Bangladesh. On this occasion, the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Bangladesh signed agreements totaling €400 million for renewable energy projects, dedicated to facilitating a sustainable green transition in Bangladesh's power sector and assisting the country in achieving its climate mitigation objectives. These investments, which include a blend of EU-guaranteed EIB loans, technical assistance, and investment grants, will drive the installation of an estimated 750 MWp of new renewable energy capacity, mainly through utility-scale solar photovoltaic and onshore wind projects. Additionally, they are expected to enhance power distribution, decentralization, and regional connectivity, ultimately contributing to a more resilient energy infrastructure. In line with the Global Gateway's broader goals, the EU and Bangladesh also launched cooperation actions worth €70 million, focusing on education, decent work, green construction, e-governance, and the prevention of gender-based violence in public spaces. These initiatives reflect a commitment to strengthening the partnership and fostering sustainability and development in Bangladesh.
  • Global Gateway: Team Europe and Viet Nam sign over €500 million in agreements underpinning the Just Energy Transition PartnershipVietnam and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in Vietnam, indicating a shared commitment to establish a multi-project credit facility amounting to €500 million. Once this credit facility is finalized, it will serve as a framework loan to finance projects dedicated to decarbonization and energy transition. Additionally, the European Union (EU) will provide €16.6 million in technical assistance through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to support Electricity Vietnam (EVN) in preparing and implementing JETP-related projects. This technical assistance accompanies a total of €1 billion in sovereign and non-sovereign loans from Team Europe (AFD, KfW, and EIB). On the policy front, the EU is actively supporting energy sector reforms in Vietnam, including the establishment of legislative and technical conditions for sustainable delivery of JETP's renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transmission grid projects. The EU's Sustainable Energy Transition budget support program contributes €142 million to these efforts. President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the significance of this funding, emphasizing its role in supporting Vietnam's ambitious Net Zero goal for 2050 and contributing to the renewable energy transition and energy security in the country.
  • Global Gateway Forum: EU boosts employment in Tajikistan with €30 million in budget supportThe European Union has committed €30 million in budget support to the Republic of Tajikistan to enhance vocational education and training, with a focus on empowering local youth, women, and returnee migrants. This initiative aims to promote employment in critical sectors like agriculture, energy, and emerging green and digital industries. The declaration, signed by European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin at the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels, underscores the EU's commitment to equipping young people with future-proof skills, reducing inequalities, and driving local economic growth. By fostering the green and digital sectors, this initiative not only creates opportunities for youth but also contributes to a more sustainable and self-sufficient Tajikistan, aligning with the EU Global Gateway investment strategy. The program also incorporates 'greening' elements into technical and vocational education and training, further supporting sustainability and the transition to a green and digital economy. This EU budget support represents a significant step towards Tajikistan's strategic autonomy and sustainable development in the region.
  • Global Gateway Forum: EU and Comoros sign agreements for €28.9 million to boost national developmentThe European Union is reaffirming its commitment to supporting Comoros through the 2021-2027 EU programming by signing agreements worth a total of €28.9 million. These agreements are aligned with the Emerging Comoros Plan and focus on three priority areas: the Green and Blue Pact, Growth and Jobs, and Governance. The "Green and Blue Deal – Comoros Ulanga ne Maesha" program, with a budget of €20.4 million, aims to enhance Comoros' environmental and food resilience. The "Wamanga wa Komor" program, budgeted at €4 million, is designed to mobilize and support the Comorian diaspora's funds in alignment with national development priorities, particularly promoting green and blue economy initiatives. The "Shawiri – Solutions" program, with €4.5 million in funding, is dedicated to strengthening the participation and protection of women, youth, and civil society in Comoros. These initiatives signify a strong commitment to fostering sustainable development, resilience, and social progress in the region, with a particular focus on youth and a sustainable future for the people of Comoros.
  • Global Gateway Forum: EU and Philippines sign €60 million Green Economy ProgrammeDuring the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels, the European Union and the Philippines inked a €60 million Financing Agreement for the Green Economy Programme. This initiative, a crucial component of the EU's participation in the Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy, is set to aid the Philippines in revitalizing its economy by embracing the circular economy, reducing waste and plastic usage, ensuring efficient water supply and wastewater treatment, promoting energy efficiency, and deploying renewable energy to combat the effects of the climate crisis. The EU will collaborate with the national government, local government units, and the private sector to encourage green investments, bonds, and skills, with a focus on greener supply chains and production processes. Implementers of the Green Economy Programme will include the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Expertise France, with financial contributions from Spain, Finland, Germany, and France, reaffirming the EU's dedication to fostering a sustainable green economy in the Philippines. This initiative is part of the broader Global Gateway framework to support the Philippines' transition to a green and digital economy, and the EU is also exploring a potential free trade agreement, along with initiatives to boost the local mining industry and enhance connectivity.


October 24th:


  • EU launches a Team Europe Initiative to develop green hydrogen in Mauritania and accelerate its energy transitionOn the eve of the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels, the European Commission and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani launched the Team Europe Initiative, backed by substantial funding from the EU, France, Germany, Spain, and the European Investment Bank. This initiative aims to facilitate the development of green hydrogen industries in Mauritania as part of the country's energy transition and decarbonization efforts. The initiative's key objectives include infrastructure development for green energy, job creation, skills development, and improving the investment climate. In addition to this initiative, the EU has also committed €13.7 million to promote sustainable food systems and enhance access to quality, affordable food by strengthening value chains and economic operators. They have also allocated €10 million to promote the Blue economy in Mauritania, with a focus on eco-friendly fishing systems, strengthening the fisheries value chain, co-financing maritime infrastructure construction, and maximizing synergies with the EU-Mauritania Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement.
  • Global Gateway Forum: EU and Costa Rica strengthen their Partnership with advances in secure connectivity, health resilience and sustainable transport cooperationAt the Global Gateway Forum, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen and Costa Rican Minister for Foreign Affairs Arnoldo André Tinoco have taken significant steps to enhance the EU-Costa Rica partnership by launching the EU-Costa Rica Cooperation Facility. This facility, with an €11 million budget, reflects the EU's commitment to supporting the implementation of the Global Gateway Investment Agenda presented at the EU-CELAC Summit. It aims to strengthen the partnership between Costa Rica and Team Europe, focusing on quality investments in connectivity, health resilience, sustainable transport, sustainable finance, agriculture, and fishing. Both the EU and Costa Rica emphasize their dedication to building a more sustainable and interconnected world under the Global Gateway initiative. The priorities of EU-Costa Rica cooperation, which run until 2027, include decarbonization, digital transformation, and innovation, as well as support for refugee and migration issues, aligning with their shared values and goals. Commissioner Urpilainen and Minister André Tinoco highlighted the importance of these projects in creating a greener, more connected, and economically empowered future for both the EU and Costa Rica.
  • Global Gateway: Team Europe and Cabo Verde present an investment package of €246 million to boost green energy, sustainable transport and digital connectivity transformationPresident of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Cabo Verde Ulisses Correia e Silva have unveiled a significant €246 million investment package at the Global Gateway Forum, designed to accelerate Cabo Verde's green transition, sustainable transport, and digital connectivity as part of the Global Gateway initiative. This initiative reflects the European Union's commitment to fostering a more sustainable and economically empowered future for Cabo Verde. The investment package encompasses various components, including financing a pumped storage facility to optimize energy use, expanding wind energy capacity, modernizing port infrastructure, and enhancing digital connectivity. These initiatives signify substantial progress toward a cleaner, more connected Cabo Verde and align with the Global Gateway Strategy's objectives of closing the global investment gap and promoting sustainable growth and resilience worldwide through a Team Europe approach.The EU and Cabo Verde have maintained a strong bilateral Special Partnership since 2007, focusing on governance for human development, equity, and green economy priorities. The Global Gateway Forum brings together government representatives, stakeholders, financial institutions, and international organizations to promote global investment in transformative infrastructure, aligning with the EU's commitment to reduce the global investment gap and create vital connections in various sectors. The Global Gateway strategy, guided by a Team Europe approach, seeks to mobilize up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027, fostering essential links and closing global investment gaps while promoting sustainability.
  • Global Gateway: EU and Namibia agree on next steps of strategic partnership on sustainable raw materials and green hydrogenOn the eve of the Global Gateway Forum, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of Namibia Hage Geingob endorsed a strategic partnership roadmap between the EU and Namibia, focusing on sustainable raw materials value chains and renewable hydrogen, backed by €1 billion in investments. This partnership aims to leverage Namibia's renewable energy potential for green hydrogen production, contributing to decarbonization and economic development. The roadmap for 2023 to 2025 outlines specific actions, including integrating value chains, promoting environmental and social criteria, mobilizing infrastructure funding, capacity building, research and innovation cooperation, and regulatory alignment. Additionally, the EU will support the development of the Port of Walvis Bay as an industrial and logistics hub for the region, enhancing its integration and economic prospects. This partnership signifies a transformative journey toward green industrialization, aiming to create jobs and promote a more prosperous and sustainable future.



Related news

From January 1st to June 30th, 2024, Belgium will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the Council). With the presidency just around the corner, B2EU has...
More details  An Analysis of the Goals, Focus, and Priorities of the Belgium Presidency
On the 24th of November, 2023 the EU announced the release of €15 million in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable people in Syria and Lebanon, including refugees and those...
More details EU Announces €15 Million in Humanitarian Assistance for Refugees and People in Need in Syria and Lebanon
On November 15th, the European Union (EU) and its Member States officially signed the "Samoa Agreement," a partnership accord with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific States...
More details Samoa Agreement: EU and its Member States sign new Partnership Agreement with the Members of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States

Stay in touch with us!

For more information about our services and working opportunities at our company, do not hesitate to: