Private Sector

Enhancing Private Sector Development: An engine for Africa’s Inclusive Growth

The private sector development is widely recognized by the international community as an engine of sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The African Development Bank (AfDB), the first financial development institution in the continent, identifies private sector development as one of its fundamental areas of focus to reduce poverty and support sustainable growth in Africa.

The implementation of the Bank's vision for the development of this sector uses a number of approaches, including: improving the business environment, support for private companies, strengthening institutions and financial systems, the promotion of regional integration and trade, and the creation of a demonstrative effect that attract resources from other donors.

The Bank continues to make significant investments to stimulate private sector growth in Africa. To this end, it has at its disposal a number of financial instruments of different risk classes, ranging from senior secured debt to direct equity, including quasi equity instruments. While the Bank holds some direct equity positions in financial institutions, the majority of the equity investments are channeled through private equity funds.

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In 2016, total Bank approvals for private sector operations amounted to UA 1.93 billion, 24 percent higher than in 2015. The interventions in 2016 — co-financing, syndication, and strategic partnerships—have strengthened its capacity to leverage and crowd-in third-party investors. They also lifted the ratio of private co-financing to Bank financing to 6:1, against the target of 5:1.