Angola - The AfDB approves a US $25 million loan to support institutional capacity building in the private sector

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Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire - At its meeting on 17 September 2014, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved a request for a US $24.85 million loan to Angola. The loan will support the country's efforts to diversify its economy, develop the private sector, create jobs and, ultimately, deliver more inclusive economic growth.

The project has three components: (i) boosting business competitiveness and entrepreneurship; (ii) supporting the development of the Initiative pour la Promotion des Coopératives (cooperatives promotion initiative, IPC); and (iii) project management, monitoring and evaluation. The project also includes plans to create a new competitive intelligence unit, set up an entrepreneurship academy and introduce a regulatory framework governing cooperatives. The AfDB loan will act as a catalyst, helping to deliver substantial improvements to the capacities of private-sector assistance institutions.

Given the sheer scale of public funding channelled into private-sector development, the project places a particular emphasis on transforming resources into results. In this regard, the project includes plans to introduce an information system, which will be used to assess the performance of national private-sector development programmes implemented by the public sector.

The project is deliberately cross-disciplinary in nature, covering issues such as private-sector development, qualifications, governance, agriculture and gender. In terms of private-sector development and gender, the project will involve the creation of a dedicated academy to help boost entrepreneurship, and will encourage positive discrimination by prioritising women and female-led businesses. In terms of qualifications, the project includes a range of activities to give young Angolans the skills they need to join the productive workforce. These will include small business creation and management skills.

The expected outcomes of the project are as follows: (i) research into export and international trade options, enhanced project development support for large companies, and the dissemination of company information; (ii) the creation of an entrepreneurship academy and the delivery of training to 42,500 people, including 24,250 women; (iii) the introduction of a regulatory framework for cooperatives, and (iv) research into the dissemination of information about cooperatives.