This includes the use of long-term financing of €20m ($22m) granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the BMI for loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Intermediate Size Enterprises (ETI) in Mauritania, with assistance provided by the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+).

As well as a portfolio guarantee of €3.2m funded by the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD).

This is the first collaboration between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Mauritanian financial sector since 2006.

It is also one of the first operations covered by the new 2023–2027 Agreement between the European Commission and the EIB for funding the private sector in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

The co operation

BMI will use at least 30% of EIB money to support youth-led enterprises, training programmes, or employment opportunities.

In accordance with the “2X Challenge” policy, at least 30% of the EIB loan will go to businesses that empower women as business owners, leaders, employees, and consumers of goods and services, so increasing their involvement in the economy.

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These standards support the OECD’s statement that “gender equality is an important goal.”

Additionally, the EIB will offer the BMI technical support to set up climate reporting.

This complies with the standards established by the Task Force on the disclosure of climate-related financial information (TCFD), a global project supported by more than 50 banks, central banks, 110 regulators, and more than 2,000 financial firms.

Mohamed Yahya Sidi, managing director of BMI said: “It is a great honour and privilege for us to participate today in the signing ceremony of the financing agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Mauritanian Investment Bank (BMI). The agreement, the first of its kind in Mauritania for fifteen years, lays the foundations for a mutually beneficial partnership between our two institutions and reinforces our vision to position our bank as a major player in the Mauritanian economy. We appreciate the confidence that the EIB places in the BMI.’’

Ambroise Fayolle, vice president of the EIB added: “This is the European Investment Bank’s first cooperation with Mauritania’s financial sector since 2006. We thus hope to trigger a new dynamic with the financial sector to strengthen support for the economy and the prospects for socio-economic development. economic. By doing so, we are supporting new opportunities for the future, especially for young people and women.’’

The deal concluded adds to more than €200m (£170m) in donations, roughly 7.6bn MRU, that the European Union has already provided to Mauritania since 2021.