AfDB and BDEAC Sign USD 1 Million Technical Assistance Grant

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Abidjan, 26 May 2010 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) and la Banque de Développement des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BDEAC) signed today 26 May 2010 a grant agreement amounting to USD 1 million.

The signing ceremony was chaired by Mr. Bobby Pittman, Vice President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration at the AfDB, and Mr. Michael Adandé, President of the BDEAC with the presence of Mr. Tetsuya Utamura, outgoing Executive Director, representing the Japanese government at the AfDB and his successor Mr. Masahiro Kan.

This grant, provided from the Fund African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), will finance a technical assistance program allowing BDEAC to implement its strategic plan and strengthen its institutional capacity to better meet the development challenges in the region of Central Africa. This grant is part of a large technical assistance program funded jointly by the French Development Agency (AFD), World Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Mr. Michael Adandé welcomed the excellent quality of cooperation between AfDB, the Japanese Government and BDEAC and affirmed that “the grant agreement which has just been signed illustrates the vitality of this cooperation which will enable BDEAC to be engaged in a program of urgent and long overdue reforms.” He further added that “this grant will contribute optimizing BDEAC management capacities, by which the Bank will able to be placed at a constant and favorable level of performance, more likely to further reassure all the stakeholders in its landscape.”

In his speech at the signing ceremony, Mr. Pittman thanked the Japanese Government and people for their contribution to the development of the African private sector through the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) initiative. He also stressed the Bank’s commitment to financing technical assistance programs, particularly those that provide institutional capacity development. African development finance institutions will continue to receive technical assistance to reach international standards through this commitment.

Mr. Utamura reiterated the support of the Japanese Government in the development of the private sector in Africa on two specific aspects: first, in the implementation of technical assistance programs designed to transform the financial institutions to be real engines for sustainable development; and second, support to financing projects in basic infrastructure.

Through FAPA funds, AfDB has initiated a broad program for institutional capacity building to support the African Development Finance Institutions such as the West African Development Bank (BOAD), the East and South African Development Bank (PTA Bank), the East African Development Bank (EADB), the Bank Congolaise de l’Habitat (BCH) and finally Shelter Afrique (specializing in housing finance in Africa).

The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) is a component of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance Initiative (EPSA), a billion-dollar joint initiative of Japan and the AfDB aimed at promoting private sector development in Africa. The FAPA trust fund provides untied grants for technical assistance and capacity building for private sector projects and African institutions. Since FAPA's creation in 2006, Japan has contributed an amount of USD 32 million while the AfDB has contributed USD 10 million. FAPA commitments to date total about USD 27.5 million, covering 32 projects across the African continent.

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