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Created in 2007 by the European Commission and European Union Member States, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF) was the first EU “blending instrument” with the objective of promoting infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa with a regional impact. “Blending” means combining long-term investments from development finance institutions (loans, risk capital, etc) with grant monies to gain financial and qualitative leverage as well as project sustainability. Another objective of Blending is the promotion of cooperation and coordination between European and non-European aid actors.

EU-AITF donor contributions stem from the European Development Fund (EDF) budget and from several European Union Member States.

The EU-AITF offers grant support from two different envelopes:

  • The Regional envelope promotes regional infrastructure projects (energy, transport, water, ICT): cross-border projects or national projects with a demonstrable regional impact on two or more countries.
  • The SE4ALL envelope supports regional, national and local energy projects targeting SE4ALL objectives:
  1. Ensure universal access to modern energy services.
  2. Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  3. Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

The EU-AITF is a highly successful facility, with over EUR 528 million committed to projects out of total pledged donor contributions of EUR 800 million to support projects through technical assistance, interest rate subsidies, investment grants and financial instruments.

Who can access EU-AITF support?

The EU-AITF aims to foster investment in infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa by blending grants with long-term financing from a number of development finance institutions (the “Financiers”, together the “Project Financiers Group” - PFG, see the list of EU-AITF eligible Financiers). EU-AITF grants must therefore be linked to loan(s) provided by one or more EU-AITF Financiers. Only the Financiers are entitled to submit grant requests.

How to access EU-AITF support?

Project promoters should approach one of the members of the PFG with their project proposals. If a Financier is interested in investing he will first discuss the project with the other Financiers. Project promoters should approach one of the members of the PFG with their project proposals. If a Financier is interested in investing he will first discuss the project with the other Financiers. As a group the Financiers form an opinion regarding the eligibility of the project. If the opinion is positive, the grant application can be submitted to the group of EU-AITF Donors (the EU-AITF Executive Committee).

Read more on steps and approximate timing for submitting a grant request for EU-AITF approval.