Boost for Africa’s private sector

•    Mr.  Adesina

• Mr. Adesina

Africa’s private sector has been given a lifeline as the African Development Bank (AfDB) signs a $300 million loan facility with Japan to strengthen the sector.

The sixth Private Sector Assistance loan is under the joint initiative titled Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa.

The loan is intended to support private sector operations and entrepreneurship in Africa.

The agreement was initialed at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire with AfDB President Akinwumi A. Adesina, AfDB Finance Vice-President Charles Boamah, Hiroshi Kawamura, Ambassador of Japan in Côte d’Ivoire, and Hiroshi Kato, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vice-President in charge of Africa appending signatures.

President Adesina thanked the government of Japan, JICA, and the people of Japan for the $3 billion support to the EPSA Initiative and the loan of $300 million equivalent that was signed.

He emphasised the importance of the loans from JICA that have reached a cumulative $1.2 billion since 2007, and stated that “Japan is a very strategic partner of the AfDB and a major trading partner for Africa. Your support in promoting private sector growth, quality infrastructure and co-financing operations, has allowed the bank to grow its private sector portfolio10-fold.”

He underscored the importance of delivering the development benefits of projects supported under this partnership: “Let me assure you that you will see the impacts on the ground, not just on the balance sheet of the bank. As a bank, we must and will redouble our efforts to deliver faster. And we will disburse approved funds faster.”

Mr. Kawamura congratulated the President on his successful inauguration and extended his appreciation for the past efforts of the bank and wishes for further deepening of the partnership with the bank.

The first Private Sector Assistance Loan from JICA to the AfDB was signed in 2007 for $100 million. This sixth loan brings the grand total to $1.2 billion.

The Private Sector Assistance Loans are one of three components comprising the EPSA Initiative, the other two being the Accelerated Co-financing Facility (ACFA) for public sector co-financing with JICA, and the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance, a multi-donor thematic trust fund administered by the bank.

By Times Reporter

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