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The African Development Bank Group, on Friday, January 30, 2015 in Abidjan, received Hiroshi Kato, Japan International Cooperation Agency Vice-President, on a courtesy visit to the institution. Vice-President Kato and his delegation – which included JICA’s Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, Yonezaki Eiro; and Kojima Umi, Programme Director for Côte d’Ivoire – held talks with AfDB Infrastructure Vice-President (OIVP) Solomon Asamoah.
The meeting explored areas of cooperation and how best JICA and the Bank Group would push forward co-financing of infrastructure, transport, ICT projects through private-sector operations.
“There are many private sector opportunities and interests in terms of financing projects in Africa,” Vice-President Asamoah told the delegation. “The sustainable development of Africa is one of the common concerns of the Bank Group and JICA. It is thus imperative for the two parties to join hands, with a view to developing the African private sector to accelerate economic growth and create jobs.”
JICA Vice-President Kato, who has recently moved from heading JICA’s Research Institute to the Vice-Presidency in charge of the Africa Department, recalled that he knows Abidjan very well, having served in Côte d’Ivoire earlier in his career. He expressed his willingness to contribute to pushing discussions on EPSA forward.
“The Bank and JICA share a long history of friendship and partnership based on common values and mutual interests,” he said. “My deep personal connection to Côte d’Ivoire makes today’s meeting especially meaningful to me."
The Bank’s principal engagement with JICA falls under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative. EPSA loan components funded by JICA include the Accelerated Co-financing Facility (ACFA). Under ACFA, JICA co-finances projects with the Bank’s public sector, with the Transport and Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and the Energy, Environment and Climate Change departments, and in African Development Fund (“green light”) countries on ADF terms. JICA lends to the Bank Group on concessional terms for on-lending through the non-sovereign window.
In October 2014, the Bank Group received a delegation, led by the Japanese Finance Ministry, with the specific objective of identifying the pipeline of ACFA candidate projects for 2015-2016, in order to reach the $2 billion second-phase target by year-end 2016. The mission was successful for both sides and in excess of $1 billion of projects have been identified. Friday’s technical meeting included AfDB Private Sector Department Director Kodeidja Diallo, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Director Alex Rugamba and OIVP Adviser Alassane Ba, and their respective teams.