Japan-AfDB sign bilateral agreement to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in Africa

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed on September 16, 2014 a bilateral agreement for a loan to the AfDB of 30.69 billion Japanese yen (about US $ 307 million). This is the fifth loan to the AfDB under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa Initiative, which supports entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth in Africa.

The Loan Agreement was signed by Head of the Asian External Representation Office (ASRO) of the AfDB, Masayuki Tamagawa, and the Vice-President of JICA, Hiroshi Kato. This Tokyo signing ceremony is the follow-up to the signing of the Exchange of Notes between the AfDB and the Government of Japan signed by AfDB President Donald Kaberuka and Ambassador of Japan to Côte d'Ivoire, Susumu Inoue, on September 12, 2014 in Abidjan.

During the signing ceremony, the Vice-President of JICA, Kato, said, “I am very happy to sign on the Loan Agreement today which we believe will help further the progress of private sector development and also the employment situation among youth in Africa. Since the Asian Office of the AfDB has been in the frontline to promote private sector development of African, JICA is grateful to continuously cooperate with the AfDB to promote this effort in Japan.”

Masayuki Tamagawa, Head of Asian External Representation Office (ASRO) of the Bank, said, “It is my great pleasure to sign on this Loan Agreement in Tokyo, Japan, on behalf of the Bank, which is our first occasion since the opening of ASRO in 2012. JICA is the Bank’s natural partner and we are and will be working very closely together to promote and enhance private sector development to improve the economic situation in Africa.”

This fifth Private Sector Assistance Loan is the first agreement after the pledge by the government of Japan to double the support to EPSA from US $1 billion to US $2 billion, which was announced by the Prime Minister Abe in January this year when he visited Africa. This US $307-million Loan Agreement is part of the larger US $2 billion EPSA initiative to help AfDB’s private sector (non-sovereign) operations. This includes public-private partnerships for the provision of essential economic infrastructure and direct investment by the AfDB in key African financial institutions and enterprises.

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