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DAKAR: EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday unveiled plans to muster investment of more than 150 billion euros for Africa, proclaiming Europe to be the continent’s biggest and “most reliable” partner.

The scheme is the first regional plan of the European Union’s Global Gateway — an investment blueprint that seeks to mobilise up to 300 billion euros ($340 billion) for public and private infrastructure around the world by 2027.

Seen as a response to China’s Belt and Road initiative, the strategy will use funding from EU institutions and member countries to leverage private-sector investment. Speaking at a press conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar, von der Leyen told reporters she was “proud” to announce plans for Africa, where the aim was to amass at least 150 billion euros in investment.

She did not offer details about how the funds would be raised or spent. The EU’s website says money under the Global Gateway will be earmarked for “smart, lean and secure links” in communications and transport and for boosting health, education and research.

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