The European Union has announced a launch of a $47.46 billion Africa Economic Development Fund aimed at helping Nigeria and other African countries drive economic growth and development.
With the new development Nigeria and some other African countries hope of attracting foreign investments have been renewed by the European Union.
According to the vice president of EU Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, the EU is already developing a strategic framework for the implementation and disbursement of the fund.
He maintained that the EU is also designing security measures to ensure the fund is effectively and efficiently disbursed.
He said the fund would go a long way in reducing the number of refugees who seek greener pastures in European countries, noting that in the last two years, Europe has experienced the greatest mass movement of people since the Second World War.
Ansip said the fund will further assist both the EU and Nigeria explore opportunities in the nation’s digital economy with a view to deepening investment in the area as well as possible partnerships.
Asip in a press conference explained that the fund which would be made available for disbursements in first quarter 2018, as credit money is designed to help developing economies cover identified risks to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs).
More than one million refugees and migrants have arrived in the EU, the EU has agreed on a range of measures to deal with the crisis.
“This fund meant for supporting development in African countries will be beneficial to the European countries as you know today that most people in Africa prefer to leave African countries to seek greener pastures in European countries. We are faced with lots of refugee crisis. To tackle this menace, we can provide some help to those countries to help build their economies instead of seeking refuge in Europe,” he said.
Italy launched a new fund of €200 million ($216 million) last Wednesday to help African countries control their borders, in the latest of a slew of measures pushed by the European Union to stop migrants reaching Europe.
EU leaders on Friday gave their backing to the new drive to stem African migration to Europe. It includes stepping up training of Libya’s coastguard and financing for the UN agencies for refugees and migration to improve dire conditions for migrants there.
Asip noted that digital development in Nigeria and in other African countries has grown rapidly, adding that internet penetration has grown to over 80% where 100% of Nigerians now have access to Internet services.
He reiterated that funds are important for economic development, but explained that ideas and how to cooperate with other African countries is even more critical to get more assistance of development funds.