Abstract: In December 2021, the EU member states agreed on the Global Gateway strategy to mobilize public and private funds of up to €300 billion between 2021 and 2027, to invest in digital, climate and energy, transport, health, education, and research fields. With a geographical focus on Africa, Global Gateway links infrastructure investment projects with condition principles—including democratic values, good governance, and transparency—and catalyzes private investment into EU development financing. Against this backdrop, this study explores why EU member states agreed on this new geopolitical instrument. This piece posits that the confluence of three factors enabled the creation of Global Gateway. First, the EU established this new instrument to counter China’s role as a global infrastructure lender in Africa. Second, Global Gateway was possible through the shift to private investment in multilateral development financing. Equally important for the establishment of Global Gateway was the European Commission’s transformational leadership as an entrepreneurial agent in designing this geopolitical strategy of the EU’s power projection. The conclusion outlines future research avenues and enables readers to consider the wider prospects and caveats of the Global Gateway strategy.
Keywords: Africa; China; entrepreneurial agent; European Commission; geopolitics; Global Gateway; global infrastructure development; private investment