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On September 8, 2015, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Japan signed the sixth private sector assistance loan under the joint initiative titled Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa. The loan, worth JPY 35.88 billion, equivalent to USD 300 million, is intended to support private sector operations in Africa.
To mark this agreement a signing ceremony was held at AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in the presence of AfDB President Akinwumi A. Adesina, AfDB Finance Vice-President Charles Boamah, Hiroshi Kawamura, Ambassador of Japan in Côte d’Ivoire, and Hiroshi Kato, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vice-President in charge of Africa.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Adesina thanked the Government of Japan, JICA, and the people of Japan for the 3 billion USD support to the EPSA Initiative and the loan of 300 million USD equivalent that was signed. The President emphasized the importance of the Loans from JICA that have reached a cumulative 1.2 billion USD since 2007, and stated that: “Japan is a very strategic partner of the AfDB and a major trading partner for Africa. Your support in promoting private sector growth, quality infrastructure and co-financing operations, has allowed the Bank to grow its private sector portfolio ten-fold.”
He underscored the importance of delivering the development benefits of projects supported under this partnership: “Let me assure you that you will see the impacts on the ground, not just on the balance sheet of the Bank. As a Bank, we must and will redouble our efforts to deliver faster. And we will disburse approved funds faster.”
Ambassador Kawamura congratulated the President on his successful inauguration and extended his appreciation for the past efforts of the Bank and wishes for further deepening of the partnership with the Bank.
The first Private Sector Assistance Loan from JICA to the AfDB was signed in 2007 for USD 100 million. This sixth loan brings the grand total to USD 1.2 billion. The Private Sector Assistance Loans are one of three components comprising the EPSA Initiative, the other two being the Accelerated Co-financing Facility (ACFA) for public sector co-financing with JICA, and the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), a multi-donor thematic trust fund administered by the Bank.