Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

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

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