By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- African Development Bank and Japan on Friday 30th August, 2019 published a joint target of $ 3.5 billion as a subject of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for African initiative (EPSA4), during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7). In a release, AfDB and Japan have set a target of $ 1.75 billion each, from 2020 – 2022, to improve the fourth phase of EPSA to implement private sector led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. EPSA has three components, namely: the Accelerated Co-Financing Facility for Africa (ACFA); the Non – Sovereign Loan (NSL) and the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA).
The FAPA is a Multi – Donor Trust Fund for technical assistance and capacity building for the Bank’s assistance and capacity building for the Bank’s Public and Private sector clients. The Government of Japan is the major contributor to the Fund, wielded by the bank. The NSL is in touch with realities from JICA to the AfDB on business terms to help fund private sector operations. Collaborations between JICA’s Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) scheme and AfDB’s Non – Sovereign Loan will be promoted. The ACFA is a sovereign co – financing arrangement between the African Development Bank and JICA, under which JICA lends on contractual terms to borrowers under this scheme.
“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the Bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance, Mr. Keisuke Suzuki said at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama and attended by government officials and a high – level delegation from the Bank as well as representations of the business community.
“I wish that the new EPSA initiative will lead to business, investment promotion and job creation in Africa,” Mr. Suzuki said.
Electricity, transportation and health will be key priorities under EPSA4. Projects and programs for three key priorities will be expressed and practiced in concert with the G20 principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries. African countries will also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.
“Today marks another day to celebrate the strong and impactful partnership between Japan and the African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are long – term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed support to the private sector,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said during his address. During EPSA1 (2005 – 2011), Japan set the target of providing $ 1 billion in loans and $ 2 billion under the second phase (2012 – 2016). The ongoing EPSA3 (2017 – 2019), Japan and the African Development Bank are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $ 3 billion. As of today, the Bank and JICA under ACFA have co-financed 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks. These include the Construction of Three Intersections in Abidjan, la Cote d’Ivoire and Power Sector Reform Program in Angola.
“Under EPSA4, JICA and the African Development Bank will provide co-financing of $ 3.5 billion. This is a significant increase over EPSA3. Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. Increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. Increase is what we need to build upon the solid foundations of co-financing over the last 13 years, and deliver even greater and more impactful development results in the years ahead. Now, let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA4,” Dr. Adesina concluded.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent