- The African-Austrian SME Investment Facility closes the gap for smaller investments (up to EUR 3 million) of SMEs in Africa
- The Investment Facility is primarily aimed at companies that want to develop projects or build production sites in Africa
The Development Bank of Austria (OeEB) announces the launch of the African-Austrian SME Investment Facility. The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) used the "High-Level Forum Africa-Europe" in December 2018 as an opportunity to initiate this instrument.
The African-Austrian SME Investment Facility allocates EUR 10 million for investments in Africa. The aim of the new instrument is to support SMEs from Austria or the European Union in setting up companies or developing projects in Africa, thus creating jobs and enabling sustainable development. OeEB is charged with the implementation of this investment instrument.
"The Austrian economy has repeatedly indicated a need for support in funding especially for smaller or high-risk projects", explains Johann Kinast, BMF, adding that at the same time this instrument helps close the existing gap between the economic partnerships of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and larger financing and investment projects of OeEB.
Africa in the spotlight
"We are pleased to have an additional instrument for private sector development in Africa", says Sabine Gaber, member of the board of OeEB. "Ultimately, it's about creating jobs and building infrastructure in Africa." Projects such as the development of micro grids in power supply or the setup of SMEs could, for example, be supported by this instrument.
The involvement of Austrian companies in Africa can be expanded. Only 1.2% of all Austrian exports go there. In 2018, only EUR 47 million of Austrian direct investment flowed to the entire continent. "Overall, Africa is underestimated as a business partner," summarizes Michael Wancata, member of the board of OeEB. "We have set ourselves the goal of ramping up our involvement in Africa to around 20% of our new business, which corresponds to around EUR 55 million per year."
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB)
Tel. +43 1 533 12 00-2993
Tel. +43 1 533 12 00-2723
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specialises in the provision of long-term finance for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries which create sustainable development. Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects.