The African Development Bank at DAVOS Africa: Financing for Development Initiative

06/06/2008
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Leveraging Resources for Private Sector Financing

Cape Town, 4 June 2008 – The Private Sector Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group organized an exclusive two-day Financing for Development round table from 3-4 June 2008 at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Cape Town, South Africa.

The meeting brought together world-class private sector financial institutions that had a fruitful interaction with senior management of the AfDB Group and the World Economic Forum on Financing for Development Initiative.

The meeting discussed ways and means of leveraging Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) capital to catalyze greater private sector investment. The gathering also enabled participants to discuss the African Financing Partnership, the optimal mix of concessional and non concessional lending and private sector views on the effective use of development finance institutions’ resources to catalyze private sector investment in Africa.

The Financing for Development initiative is aimed at developing a public-private financing partnership between multilateral development banks, bilateral development finance institutions, global investment entities, and commercial financial institutions.

The first day of the meeting highlighted the AfDB’s role in catalyzing further Public-Private Partnerships. Interactive discussions focused on engaging the private sector in increasing non-sovereign financing and funding at sub-sovereign levels, establishing investment climate capacity building as a central priority, "learning by doing transaction" programmes, using transactions as critical vehicles, strengthening investment project pipelines through project development support and providing advisory services to governments on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) structuring.

Issues related to financing infrastructure projects in Africa were examined and two AfDB Group projects were showcased, namely, the Mmamabula Energy Project in Botswana, presented by CIC Energy Ltd, and the Lekki Toll Road in Nigeria presented by Lekki Concession Company. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Opuiyo Oforiokuman, CEO/Managing Director, Lekki Concession Company Limited, said "Closing the huge gap that exists in the provision of essential basic infrastructure in Africa requires access to long term finance on affordable terms.  Raising such finance, however, has proven quite a challenge over the years.  It is important, nevertheless, that we don't give up hope, lest we allow poverty to be institutionalized here. The World Economic Forum brings together many of the people, both from Africa and beyond, who can truly make the difference.  We therefore look forward to a positive outcome from this key event."

Participants also had the opportunity on the second day of the meeting to focus on the Bank’s initiative on the ‘African Financing Partnership’, a facility developed in partnership with institutions such as the entrepreneurial development bank of the Netherlands (FMO), Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the German Private Sector funding agency (DEG). Other DFIs have shown interest in participating in this Partnership, whose main purpose is to harmonize procedures and help member institutions to increase their operations without increasing the processing costs, while maintaining the highest quality standards. The most important issue discussed during the breakfast session was how to seek  ways in which the public sector division of labor could better complement and leverage private sector financing."

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Onike-Houra Nicol Téléphone: +216 71 10 32 27