The European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged to support the development and sustainability efforts in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
“The European Union (EU) is committed to invest €300bn in the coming years and the EIB will provide one third of this amount,” EIB's vice president Thomas Ostros said.
He was addressing a press briefing Monday at the ongoing Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5): From Potential To Prosperity at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
The EU and EIB are committed to invest in the LDCs while supporting these countries enrich in various sectors, Ostros said while explaining that the details of the allocation will be announced during the conference.
The fund is expected to be spent for the development of private sector, green energy, water and health in the LDCs. “We are committed to accelerating sustainable infrastructure which is built on solid foundations, literally and metaphorically: good design, high standards, best practice and transparency,” he said. The investment will come on favourable terms to create jobs and opportunities, particularly for women and young people.
Somachi Chris-Asoluka, CEO of Tony Elemuele Foundation (TEF), noted entrepreneurship is the only model that lends true, lasting and dignified prosperity in the African continent. “We must prioritise the African young people and uplift the countries from poverty,” she said while calling for investments and financial support to the African countries.
Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, TEF has helped empower African entrepreneurs from across the continent while distributing grants for seed capital and supporting entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries through its proprietary digital platform. Asoluka said thousands of jobs were created by TEF while thousands were given business management training.
Environmental activist and social entrepreneur Reekelitsoe Molapo from Lesotho stressed the importance of tapping the potential of the youth for the development and prosperity of the LDCs. She has co-founded and directs Conservation Music Lesotho. Her organisation confronts environmental collapse through the power of music in the developing world and beyond. “Young people are very instrumental and their meaningful engagement in decision making can bring changes,” she added.
Thomas Ostros, Somachi Chris-Asoluka and Reekelitsoe Molapo at the press conference Monday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.