Key Development and Finance Updates
U.S., Togo to co-host 2017 AGOA Forum in Lome
The United States and Togo have announced they would co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lome, Togo. The law, which enhances market access to the U.S. for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries, mandates an annual special forum be convened to discuss issues relating to implementation of the law and economic cooperation.
The theme of this year's forum, to be held on August 8-10, is: The U.S. and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade. The forum will bring together senior government officials from the U.S. and 38 SSA countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade. Regional economic communities will also be represented.
The 2017 AGOA Forum will explore how countries can continue to maximize the benefits of AGOA in a rapidly-changing economic landscape.
AGOA has been the cornerstone of the U.S. government's trade policy with SSA since 2000, allowing over 6,000 products from Africa, including petroleum, clothing and other industrial and agricultural products into the U.S. duty- and quotafree.
AfDB convenes ECOWAS Green Investment Roundtable
The African Development Bank (AfDB) in conjunction with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and West African Development Bank (BOAD) convened the ECOWAS Green Investment Roundtable last month at the AfDB Headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. The roundtable was designed to launch initiatives to promote private sector finance and investment opportunities in the West African energy sector.
The meeting focused on catalysing green investments to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Participants – including representatives from UNFCCC, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), BOAD, and GuarantCo – suggested innovative instruments that would play a major role in the mobilisation of financial resources. Examples of such instruments include green debt, green bonds and de-risking financial instruments like the AfDB Coguarantee platform, the BOAD Green Bond programme etc.
Ghana receives $85.7mn financing to improve education, water and sanitation
The World Bank has approved $85.7 million for Ghana's Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) and the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (SRWSP). The financing, announced last month, was approved under the International Development Association (IDA), which provides grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programmes to boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve lives in poor countries.
The SEIP received additional financing of $40 million to support low-performing schools in the 100 districts. It also provides bursaries (formerly scholarships) for needy students and has rolled out activities to improve quality of teaching and learning in beneficiary schools. The SRWSP received additional financing of $45.7 million for construction of 20,000 household toilets in addition to the current 22,000, and assist additional communities to be open defecation-free. The project will also finance water supply systems.
The latest funding brings total support for SEIP and SRWSP to $196 million and $120.7 million, respectively.
Nigeria's Economic Recovery and Growth Plan receives $961mn World Bank support
The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, the Nigerian government's medium-term economic plan, has received World Bank support by way of two operations support. The Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Programme-for-Results and Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programmefor-Results received a total of $961 million last month.
According to the bank, the BESDA is a $611 million credit aiming to bring out-ofschool children into the classroom, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability in basic education. Kaduna State's programme is a $350 million credit focused on enhancing private sector investment.
The World Bank said both operations implement results-based financing, whereby disbursement of funds is linked to the achievement of tangible, verifiable results. For instance, about 13.2 million school-age children were out of school in 2013, the overwhelming majority of them were in the north with the number of girls disproportionately higher than boys. BESDA aims to reduce the number of outof-school children by roughly one third by 2022.
Remittance flows to developing countries reaches $445bn in 2016
Remittance flows from migrants rose by 51% over the past decade from $296 billion in 2007 to $445 billion in 2016, according to a new report by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The report – titled Sending Money Home:
Contributing to SDGs, One Family at a Time – attributes the sharp rise in remittance flows over the past decade to Asia, which has witnessed an 87% increase in remittances.
The report, released last month, says more than 200 million migrant workers are now supporting an estimated 800 million family members globally.
Total migrant worker earnings are estimated to be $3 trillion annually, out of which approximately 85% remains in the host countries.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai