Investing to change lives: IFC and AfDB seek to boost private sector in Africa

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Enhancing partnerships with a view to boosting private sector as the driving force for sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa is one of the main priorities for the African Development Bank’s Private Sector Department (OPSD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

For this reason, the African Development Bank hosted a high-level delegation from the IFC for two days of meetings on May 6 and 7, 2015 in Abidjan, to deepen relationships between the two institutions, and to develop initiatives to increase private sector investments in the region. The ultimate goal: to use investment to change lives in Africa.

Opened by AfDB Vice-President Solomon Asamoah, the meeting offered the opportunity to assess the experiences and lessons learned over the past few years of private sector financing to drive better results on the ground. The meeting also examined how the two institutions can better collaborate to bolster Africa’s development by enabling sustainable private investment in a continent, which according to AfDB Private Sector Director Kodeidja Diallo, “is characterized by large and small projects funding gaps and challenges.  

“Africa is a huge market and we need to invest to change lives,” she said, echoing Vice-President Asamoah, Vice-President, Operations, in charge of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration.

The meeting particularly seeks how to increase the success factors for operations in fragile states, adequacy of business model for SME financing and advisory services. IFC Directors for Western and Central Africa, Saran Kebet-Koulibaly, and for East and Southern Africa, Cheikh O. Seydi, both of whom headed the delegation, expressed gratitude to the Bank for hosting the meeting, saying that it provided a golden opportunity to revamp the cooperation.

“We believe in our partnership with the AfDB and the benefit of it is to sit down and take the partnership to the next level,” Seydi underscored.

For his part, Asamoah emphasized the benefits of better leveraging of the resources and expertise of each institution for the benefit of Africa. “It is definitely a case of 1+1 potentially equalling 3,” he said.