The EU promotes strategic corridors in Africa

The European Union has selected eleven transport corridors in Africa to support the construction or expansion of these. There are business opportunities for German companies.

The European Union (EU) wants to promote eleven transport corridors in Africa. To this end, it supports the construction or expansion of infrastructure on selected routes. This applies to roads, railways and tracks, airports, waterways and seaports. The traffic arteries run right through the continent. They primarily - but not exclusively - connect landlocked countries with ports on the coast. The funding is part of Global Gateway, the European Union’s infrastructure initiative.

The corridors are intended to facilitate mobility and trade

The EU promotes mobility and trade via the Strategic Corridors, both within Africa and between Europe and Africa. Value chains are to be strengthened and jobs created along the corridors. The EU wants to create clean and efficient corridors so that more mobility does not mean more CO 2 emissions. The infrastructure should also be climate-resilient.

In contrast to previous projects, the EU now wants to “go big,” said Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of the Department for Sustainable Transport and Urban Development in the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) when presenting the initiative. Previously, the EU had funded individual infrastructure projects and achieved hardly any visible results. Now she wants to concentrate on a few corridors and develop them holistically: with roads, rails and waterways and in a second phase with improved public services and urban mobility.

On the one hand, business opportunities arise when African states tender services for the planning, construction and monitoring of infrastructure. On the other hand, they can also be involved in projects that are intended to further develop the catchment areas of the corridors in general.

The initiative is part of Global Gateway

The Strategic Corridors are an important part of the EU 's Africa-Europe Global Gateway investment package. The initiative is funded by the EU’s Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), also known as Global Europe.

Global Gateway is the EU’s answer to China’s new Silk Road. In addition, the Middle Kingdom is building infrastructure almost worldwide, much of it in Africa . The criticism of this: Projects are often not sustainable and the orders go almost exclusively to Chinese companies. In contrast to this, Global Gateway is intended to consciously promote sustainable infrastructure - both in terms of environmental protection and financing. In addition, the companies should compete fairly, so that European companies also have opportunities.

Investments in Africa’s infrastructure are urgently needed to improve the living conditions of the population and make the continent more competitive. Analysts assume that more than 100 billion US dollars per year would have to be invested in additional infrastructure in Africa.

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Identifying key Strategic Corridors in Africa, and focusing on their development provides an important opportunity to deepen the Africa-EU partnership:

■ by concentrating investments in a limited number of Strategic Corridors, development impact can be increased and the EU will be able to make a difference in the quality of the infrastructure delivered;
■ by supporting more clean and efficient Corridors through the promotion of multi-modality and climate ambitions, the increased demand for transport in Africa will not necessarily imply growing emissions and pollution, environmental impacts can be reduced and infrastructure can be more climate-resilient.

This was a good read.