EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced today a Team Europe initiative in support of Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as she joined global leaders at the Summit on Financing African Economies hosted by President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. The initiative will mobilise substantial financing and technical expertise to address key bottlenecks that hold back young entrepreneurs and small business owners across Africa.
Ursula von der Leyen, said:
“Africa is our neighbour and close partner. We want to overcome this pandemic together. Europe can benefit a lot from Africa’s very young and dynamic economy. Our Team Europe initiatives therefore focus on boosting young entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses, which are the backbone of the African economy. And Europe will invest in more resilient African health systems and local vaccine production.”
The first of these Team Europe initiatives being announced today, called ‘Investing in Young Businesses in Africa’, will help micro, small and medium-sized companies across the continent take off and create jobs. It will do so by:
1) Increasing financial and technical support to small companies at pre-seed stage as well as to micro-companies;
2) supporting access to finance for start-ups at seed and early stages, and;
3) supporting financial intermediaries, digital finance, the general entrepreneurial ecosystem and the investment climate, including through the implementation of a set of reforms agreed within the Compact with Africa framework.