European Investment Bank supports expanded membership of Africa Trade Insurance Agency (http://www.ATI-ACA.org/); Availability of investment insurance to strengthen investment and reduce project financing costs; Agreements for intended financing signed at African Investment Forum.

The European Investment Bank today formally agreed to support the membership expansion of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) with a concessional financing facility to cover the shareholding of three prospective members - Cameroon, Niger and Togo. This represents the first time the European Investment Bank has backed ATI's membership expansion. Unlocking additional investment insurance is expected to transform public and private sector investment in the countries. Investment insurance includes the full spectrum of political and credit risk insurance covering both sovereign and corporate risks.

The Agreement with ATI to enable the European Investment Bank to finance membership of countries was signed earlier today at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg by Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank and John Lentaigne, Ag Chief Executive Officer of the African Trade Insurance Agency.

Today marks a significant milestone in the European Investment Bank's support for private sector and sustainable infrastructure development across Africa. The agreements agreed in Johannesburg today will enable West African countries to benefit fully from ATI membership and benefit from increased investment in sectors such as agriculture, energy, manufacturing and health. As the EU Bank, the European Investment Bank is committed to accelerating sustainable development across Africa. This new cooperation will expand the impact of investment insurance essential for sustainable development in West Africa.rdquo; said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

As an African institution, ATI has a strategic focus to de-risk member countries in order to attract investment and promote growth. The European Investment Bank's engagement to expanding ATI membership in West Africa will help to ensure that the prospective countries' economies achieve their full potential and follow the success of ATI membership seen in so many other countries across Africa.rdquo; said John Lentaigne, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the African Trade Insurance Agency.

The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, will finance capital participation that will enable three countries to access guarantee and insurance mechanisms provided by ATI. Full membership in ATI is expected to follow in the coming months.

Investment insurance key for sustainable development

ATI membership will enable underlying projects to be bankable and able to attract new investors for strategic infrastructure and private sector projects.

The agreement signed today is a key step toward improving private sector investment and sustainable economic development in West Africa by stimulating growth in key economic sectors, driving economic diversification and ensuring more stable and sustainable growth.

ATI membership to reduce borrowing costs and boost investor confidence

Once the countries become full ATI members investors will benefit from the full spectrum of investment insurance that protects against non-payment of both sovereign and corporate risks.

ATI membership has already helped other African countries to reduce sovereign borrowing costs. ATI currently insures USD 6 billion of transactions across Africa as a current outstanding portfolio.

Ensuring international environmental and social standards

The agreement will ensure that projects follow international technical, environmental and social standards that further reassures international investors.

Source: African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).

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