PUBLISHED ON October 27th, 2023

Global Gateway Forum kick starts to boost sustainable investments in infrastructure

The first Global Gateway Forum opened in Brussels on 25 October. It brought together over 40 high-level Government representatives, financial institutions and business representatives to discuss the world’s investment needs, debate solutions and seal new deals.  The panel discussions on the first day focused on green energy and hydrogen, research and education, critical raw materials and transport corridors.

President von der Leyen opened the Forum, and stated: “The fate of present and future generations depends, more than ever before, on the quality and quantity of the infrastructure that connects us all. Team Europe has put forward Europe’s largest global investment programme ever: the Global Gateway. Global Gateway is about giving choices to countries – better choices. Because for many countries around the world, investment options are not only limited, but they all come with a lot of small print, and sometimes with a very high price. That is why Global Gateway investments work: they are demand-driven and they are a win-win for all partners involved.” The full speech is available on EbS here and you can also read it here.

On the eve of the Forum, the Global Gateway Civil Society and Local Authorities Dialogue Platform held its first meeting with Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen. The platform is a space for civil society and local authorities to engage on Global Gateway rollout within the different investment priorities.

Agreements and announcements made during the first day of the Forum:

Green energy

During the first day of the Global Gateway Forum, several announcements in the field of the green energy transition were made:

  • €500 million for the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in Vietnam, to foster the renewable energy transition in the country.
  • €400 million to foster renewable energy in Bangladesh under the partnership for Green Energy Transition.
  • €246 million package in support of a greener and more sustainable future for Cabo Verde, including an energy sustainability loan, support for the Cabeólica wind farm expansion project, upgrades to the country’s port infrastructure and more accessible and affordable internet connectivity across the country.
  • €146 million to the construction of the Kakono hydropower plant in Tanzania, contributing significantly to both economic development and climate change adaptation.
  • €60 million for the Green Economy Programme with the Philippines, to assist the country in transitioning towards a sustainable economy.
  • €20.4 million for the Green and Blue Pact in Comoros to boost the country’s environmental and food resilience.

Additionally, the EU and Mauritania launched a new Team Europe initiative to support investment in the energy transition and decarbonisation of Mauritania’s economy, by developing its green hydrogen industries. Complementing this initiative, the EU has also signed new cooperation actions in 2023, including €13.7 million to promote sustainable food systems and access to quality and affordable food and €10 million to promote blue economy in Mauritania.

Critical raw materials 

The roadmap for the EU–Namibia strategic partnership on sustainable raw materials value chains and renewable hydrogen was endorsed on 24 October. Backed by €1 billion in investments by the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions, the roadmap for the period 2023-2025 details the concrete actions in which the partnership will advance its goals, in close cooperation with EU and Namibia financial and private sector stakeholders.

Transport corridors 

The EU will also support an upcoming study for the development of the Walvis Bay port in Namibia, the entry point from the Atlantic side to the Walvis Bay – Maputo Corridor, one of the eleven Strategic Corridors the EU envisages to support as part of the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package. With EU support, a masterplan that covers multimodal infrastructure, spatial planning and market organisation will be developed.

The EU also announced a €12 million grant to rehabilitate and modernise two key sections of railway lines in the Republic of Moldova, complemented by a further forthcoming loan of €42 million from the EIB, that will not only enhance internal connectivity in the Republic of Moldova, but also offer a crucial export route for Ukraine, further strengthening the Solidarity Lanes initiative and fostering regional stability and economic resilience, as well as a €16 million blending grant through EIB Global, to improve the road safety in Georgia along Georgia’s East- West highway.


In the education sector, Commissioner Urpilainen signed a €46 million contract as a major step taking forward the roll-out of the Regional Teachers’ Initiative for Africa to support the development and implementation of policies, education and professional development for teachers.

The EU also announced a €10 million grant through EIB Global, to improve education infrastructure in Armenia through the construction of two extra curricula education and teacher training centres in the Southern part of the country.

In addition, €30 million was committed for the Republic of Tajikistan to boost education. Finally, an Annual Action Plan for 2023 and 2024 benefiting Kenya, with an education component, was signed.

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