CEDESA Note nº2
The Global Gateway initiative of the European Union and Angola: seize the opportunity now
The European Union (EU) has recently unveiled its Global Gateway project, seen as a European alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The Global Gateway is a €300 billion infrastructure spending plan that aims to boost EU supply chains and trade around the world.
The difference that the EU intends to emphasize compared to the Chinese model of BRI, is that on the European side it will not grant loans, but promote public and private investments, presenting what it considers to be transparent and more favorable financing, especially for developing countries.
The Global Gateway aims to be a more modern version of BRI, focusing on investments in future-oriented and environmentally responsible projects in the digital, healthcare, education, scientific research, renewable energy and other sectors.
It is clear that Africa, and in this, among others, Angola is the logical target of this EU initiative, as it is also where a good part of the Chinese influence through the BRI can be verified. The European Commission does not mention the African market as a priority goal, but it is logical that it should be, as it was the arrival of Chinese financing that most harmed European companies, which often lost market share. And Angola served as a model for the intervention of China in Africa, through the establishment of the so-called “Angolan model”.
The Angolan authorities will have every interest in contacting those responsible for this European Union program to be the first to develop a solid partnership that promotes investments in three fundamental areas for Angola: renewable energies, education and health.
Eventually, the great qualitative leap that one wants to take in Angolan education could be the first bet of this European project. The EU could be the major funder of the qualification of universities and scientific research in Angola, since it is a soft power supporter, and it would be an area in which it has an extremely favorable competitive advantage, easy to the alleged Chinese competition.
On the other hand, an immediate approach by Angola to implement the program will allow the assessment of the seriousness and commitment of the European Union in this program, verifying that it is not a mere advertisement for propaganda purposes, as many claim.
In conclusion, immediate Angolan action is strongly recommended to benefit from the Global Gateway in the area of education.