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EU to seed African initiative with €48m

Private capital will play an integral role in the EU's agri-related, multi-sector development programme for Africa.

The European Union has allocated €48 million ($64 million; £38 million) to agriculture over the first three years of a new multi-sector development programme for Africa, the €845 million Pan African Programme.

The Pan African Programme will run from 2014 to 2020 but is targeting €415 million in the first three years.

Financing details for the three year programme are not yet finalised, although the first agriculture projects are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to an European Commission spokesperson.

There will be opportunities for private investors to be involved in the overall Multi Annual Indicative Programme 2014-2017, which the Africa programme is a part of, she added. “At this stage it’s premature to foresee precise implementing modalities. What is certain is that the private sector will play a crucial role in the agriculture component of the Multi Annual Indicative Programme since action in this area will target local agro industry and agribusiness development,” she told Agri Investor.

The programme aims to better co-ordinate development and co-operation between the EU and the African continent. “The challenges with which we are faced can no longer be tackled within national borders. This is why I have proposed to create a Pan African Programme, to find solutions at regional and continental scale and support the process of African integration. The alliance between Africa and Europe, today more than ever. This programme will make it even stronger,” said José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commisssion in a statement.