VENTURES AFRICA – The Japanese government in conjunction with the African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced plans to invest another $1 billion over the next five years for a second phase of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa Initiative.
As a follow-up to the G8 Camp David Summit held last month, Japan’s Senior Vice Minister of Finance, Yukihisa Fujita, during a joint session with AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Akihiko Tanaka, said that Africa’s private sector-led growth has been progressing well in various sectors, and that to promote poverty reduction through accelerating this movement, Japan’s EPSA initiative and the AfDB has decided to provide an additional $1 billion over the next five years.
The renewed commitment comes after Japan’s achievement of a $1 billion funding target for the first round of EPSA, which was set at the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005.
AfDB President Kaberuka thanked the Japanese government for their continued support, especially in times of fiscal austerity, and celebrated the impact of EPSA to date. Kaberuka said EPSA has played a “key role” in the development of regional infrastructure which is critical to sustaining African economic growth and greatly enhanced AfDB’s private sector operations, which have taken a quantum leap forward, expanding nearly ten-fold over the lifespan of the first phase of EPSA.
“It is building capacity for future growth through technical assistance and training for African enterprises and financial institutions supported by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance” Kaberuka added.
According to reports, in EPSA’s first five years of existence, more than 70 projects have been launched, leveraging an additional $1.2 billion of AfDB financing with the potential to promote sustainable development in Africa.
AfDB was established in 1964 with the intention of promoting economic and social development in Africa. It provides loans and grants to African regional member countries (RMC) and private companies investing in RMC’s.