Japan and the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced a joint target of $3.5 billion under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4). The announcement was made at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7). Japan and the Bank have set a target of $1.75 billion each from 2020 to 2022. The goal of the target is to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.
“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,” said Mr Keisuke Suzuki, Japan’s State Minister of Finance, at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama and was attended by government officials and a high-level delegation from the Bank, in addition to representatives of the business community.
“We will cooperate by integrating our funds, expertise, and experiences, and I wish the win-win relationship between Japan and Africa will deepen further,” Suzuki commented. Key priorities for the EPSA4 are health, electricity and transportation, and projects will be developed to further these priorities in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries. Japan and the Bank have said that African countries will also be provided with support to create and improve 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. 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,” said Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development, during his address.
Japan, during EPSA1 (2005-2011), set the target of providing $1 billion in loans and $2 billion under the second phase (2012-2016). The on-going EPSA3 (2017-2019) will see both entities targeting the goal of $3 billion. JICA and the Bank, under ACFA, have co-financed 25 projects with the goal of improving key transportation and electricity transmission networks. These projects include the Power Sector Reform Program in Angola and the Construction of Three Intersections in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. JICA and the African Development Bank, under EPSA4, will provide co-financing of $3.5 billion, which is a 17% increase from the previous phase.
“Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. [The] increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. [The] 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 arise with renewed vigour. Let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA 4,” commented Adesina.