The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Japan (GOJ) have signed an agreement for a US $ 300 million facility under the joint initiative titled Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa.
The loan, worth JPY 34.41 billion (equivalent to approximately USD 300 million) is intended to support private sector operations in Africa through the AfDB's non-sovereign window.
The agreement, which was signed at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, was in the presence of AfDB Senior Vice President Charles Boamah, AfDB Acting Finance Vice-President Hassatou N'Sele, Chargé d'affaires ad interim of Japan to the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire Yukuo Murata, representing the Cote d'Ivoire Office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Ms. Momo Morioka.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Senior Vice President Boamah thanked the people and government of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency for their continuous support to the AfDB and the African Continent under the EPSA Initiative.
The signature of this Exchange of Notes marks the conclusion of the 2nd phase of the EPSA Initiative and the beginning of the 3rd phase, was announced at the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held at Nairobi, Kenya on August 2016. The 3rd phase has a joint target (Japan plus AfDB) of USD 3 billion over the next three years.
The Senior Vice President emphasized the importance of the EPSA loans-which have so far reached a cumulative 1.5 billion USD since 2007. "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. Under the new High 5 priorities, all of which involve the private sector, the Loan will accelerate expansion of our private sector portfolio even further," he said.
Acting Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, Yukuo Murata, commended the Bank for its past efforts and shared the intention of Japan in successfully achieving the joint targets of the 3rd phase of EPSA, which was agreed at 6th TICAD.
The first Private Sector Assistance Loan from JICA to the AfDB was signed in 2007 for USD 100 million. This seventh loan brings the grand total to USD 1.5 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.