The EU’s bank in Africa steps up the action: Whether or not Jean-Claude Juncker’s plans for a “partnership of equals” with #Africa becomes reality any time soon, the #Luxembourg -based #EuropeanInvestmentBank will have an ever-increasing role in the #continent. The External Investment Programme (EIP) promises to leverage €44 billion of #investment, predominantly in Africa, by 2020, commitments that may now be stepped up following Juncker’s State of the Union speech last week. The #EIB has been steadily expanding its operations in #EastAfrica in recent years, opening a bureau in Ethiopia’s #AddisAbaba alongside its long-standing office in #Kenya. But while most talk in #Brussels tends to focus on the amount of cash available, it is not only a question of having more money to lend but having the means to lend it, Catherine Collin, the EIB’s East Africa bureau chief in Nairobi, tells EURACTIV. “In the region of East Africa, we signed just over €400 million of projects in 2017 compared to €100 million in the previous year. €400 million may not look huge but it’s not a bad amount for us outside the EU,” says Collin, pointing out that the vast majority of the bank’s activities are within the bloc.