Ibec Schuman Associates Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

About European Development Fund funding in Africa

Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome and launched in 1959, the European Development Fund (EDF) is the EU's main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs). The EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration. It is financed by direct contributions from EU Member States according to a contribution key and is covered by its own financial rules. The total financial resources of the 11th EDF amount to €30.5 billion for the period 2014-2020.
The EU funding is always agreed in close partnership with each of the ACP countries or regions to make sure that we are aligned to their national or regional priorities and development plans. Such objectives are laid down in so-called National or Regional Indicative Programmes. For the period until 2020 all but a few of these programmes have been finalised and signed with the national governments in recent months. This means that the EU is now ready to continue its successful support to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries with the ambition to overcome poverty and achieve sustainable development in many of the world’s poorest places.
In the field of the external actions of the European Union, the applicable legislation is composed in particular by the international agreement of Cotonou for the aid financed from the European Development Fund, by the basic regulations related to the different cooperation programmes adopted by the Council and the European Parliament, and by the financial regulations. The European Union is one of the largest donors of official development aid worldwide providing about 50% of global aid which equals to more than 50 billion EUR worldwide on an annual basis. A proliferation of financing instruments, stakeholders and procedures renders a coherent business strategy the only viable option to tap these opportunities.