AfDB, Japan pledge $3.5bn for Nigeria, others

Japan and the African Development Bank have announced a joint target of $3.5bn under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative.

Both Japan and the AfDB have set a target of $1.75bn each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.

The announcement was made on Friday during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Japan, according to a statement.

“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance, Mr Keisuke Suzuki, said at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama.

He added, “I wish that the new EPSA initiative will lead to business, investment promotion, and job creation in Africa.”

According to the statement, electricity, transportation, and health will be key priorities under EPSA4, and projects and programmes for the three key priorities will be formulated and implemented in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in developing countries.

It said African countries would also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.

The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said, “Today marks another day to celebrate the strong and impactful partnership between Japan and the African Development Bank.

“The African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are long-term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed support to the private sector.”

He said under EPSA 4, JICA and the AfDB would provide co-financing of $3.5bn, describing it as a significant increase over EPSA-3.

Adesina added, “Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. Increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. Increase is what we need to build upon the solid foundations of co-financing over the last 13 years, and deliver even greater and more impactful development results in the years ahead.  Now, let us arise with renewed vigour. Let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA 4.”

The statement said Japan set the target of providing $1bn in loans during EPSA1 (2005-2011) and $2n under the second phase (2012-2016).

Japan and the AfDB are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $3bn for the ongoing EPSA3 (2017-2019).

“As of today, the bank and JICA under ACFA have co-financed 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks,” it added.

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