The European Union (EU) has unveiled its ambitious Global Gateway Initiative, which is set to allocate a staggering €150 billion in investments by 2027 across various sectors in Nigeria and other African nations. This strategic initiative was introduced by the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, during its launch in Abuja.
The Global Gateway Initiative’s primary objective is to enhance connectivity, drive sustainable development, and strengthen economic ties between the EU and its partner nations, with a significant focus on Nigeria. Urpilainen outlined the EU’s commitment to bolstering Nigeria’s infrastructure connectivity, spanning transportation, energy, and digital networks. Additionally, the initiative will provide support for agriculture, economic growth, health, and education.
“This initiative aims to promote sustainable development and environmental protection while fostering cooperation and partnerships with Nigeria and other partner countries,” emphasized Urpilainen. She further highlighted the importance of building resilient global connections, especially in the face of an increasingly fragmented world, citing recent global events as stark reminders.
The EU’s Global Gateway strategy aims to mobilize a total of €300 billion in investments by 2027, with half of that amount earmarked for Africa, which translates to €150 billion by 2027. Nigeria is set to play a prominent role in this investment package.
Urpilainen underlined the EU’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s 5G expansion, particularly in strengthening the country’s digital economy. Discussions are also underway regarding potential loans to assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the digital and print sectors.
Furthermore, the EU is dedicated to providing financial support to enhance the energy sector, including the establishment of small-scale grids and modest hydroelectric power stations, catering to both public and productive needs.
“In 2022, we launched a digital economic package for Nigeria, with investments totaling €820 million through collaboration with the EU and European Investment Banks. We are already supporting the nationwide rollout of digital IDs, mobile network expansion in partnership with MTN in Lagos and other states, and the construction of a railway line between Katsina and Daura twin lines. We are also proposing to reinforce the Nigeria-Benin interconnection under the West African power pole framework,” Urpilainen explained.
Education is a key focus of the initiative, with a transformative empowerment project set to launch in Northwestern Nigeria in collaboration with the government. This project aims to promote quality basic education in the northern regions.
Nigeria is also a major beneficiary of the student mobility and higher education cooperation project under Erasmus+, with more than 2,020 students from Nigeria being awarded scholarships to study in the EU in 2022.
The EU is committed to a long-term partnership with Nigeria under the Global Gateway Initiative to achieve shared goals and objectives. The EU’s long-term commitment will result in investments across various sectors in Nigeria, including Agriculture (€42,000,000), Energy (€37,000,000), Health (€45,000,000), Digital (€55,000,000), Education (€45,000,000), and Social Protection (€46,000,000).