AFDB, JAPAN TO AVAIL $3 BILLION TO AFRICA
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan are set to avail $3 billion for private sector development in Africa in the next three years to boost economic growth.
It is hoped that if Zimbabwe can benefit from such funding, this can go a long way in enhancing the country’s economic recovery efforts.
Since the adoption of a multicurrency system in February 2009, Zimbabwe has been faced with liquidity constraints that has seen businesses including the private sector failing to access working capital.
“The AfDB and the Government of Japan announced . . . they have set a joint target to provide $3 billion for private sector development in Africa during the next three years, substantially increasing the resources devoted to boosting economic growth and fighting poverty in the region. “The resources will be provided under the third phase of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA) initiative,” said the bank.
The regional financier said Japan would target to provide $1.5 billion over three years through the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
“The AfDB expects to finance at least an equal amount. On top of this, Japan is ready to provide an additional special allocation of $300 million for co-financing with the AfDB to help African countries access the best low emitting clean coal technologies available,” AfDB added.
Japan’s Minister of Finance Mr Taku Otsuka said his country and the financial institution had agreed to upgrade the joint EPSA initiative, which has been at the core of their long-standing partnership, helping boost private sector-led growth in Africa.
“We look forward to continued close collaboration with the AfDB so as to further accelerate the development of the African private sector by delivering resilient and high-quality infrastructure and strengthening the health system,” he said.
AfDB president Dr Akinwumi Adesina said: “This is a significant expansion of our support to the private sector, which will play a critical role in Africa’s economic transformation.
“The scaling up of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa Initiative will help increase access to electricity, boost the industrialisation of the continent and improve the quality of millions of lives in Africa.
“These are all key components of our High 5s. We are proud to partner with Japan, one of our key strategic partners, in this endeavour.”
The High 5s are the bank’s five areas of focus to advance the agenda of Africa’s economic transformation over the next 10 years: Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, Industrialise Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina