The European Investment Bank (EIB) has been a development partner with Zambia for some decades.
At the end of 2008, EIB’s portfolio in Zambia stood at 43 loans with a total amount of € 484.5 million, representing one of the highest per capita lending ratios in the ACP countries.
The EIB portfolio has been traditionally concentrated in the mining sector, reflecting the importance of mining in the economy. A large part of the remaining balance is concentrated in the financial sector, particularly in credit lines to local banks with strong risk-sharing features. These lines have had a very positive impact on the access to finance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) both in the agricultural and manufacturing sector.
For the period 2008-2013, considering the characteristics of the Zambian economy as well as the EIB’s past experience in the country, the following main areas of intervention have been identified:
- support to SMEs, transformation of the financial sector and development of the private sector in close cooperation with local financial intermediaries through global loans or equity funds,
- financing infrastructure projects in the power, water and sewerage, transport and telecommunications sectors, with the aim of increasing the efficiency of public utilities and of encouraging appropriate private sector participation,
- direct funding of large individual projects where the EIB can support value-addition investment.