17 December 2013, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization, APO, TUNIS, Tunisia — The African Development Bank, AfDB, (http://www.afdb.org) and the Government of Japan signed on Monday, 16 December, a bilateral Exchange of Notes for a loan of 9.48 billion Japanese yen (about US$ 100 million). This is the fourth loan to the Bank under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa Initiative, which supports entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth in Africa.
The Exchange of Notes was signed by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President, and His Excellency Mr. Juichi Takahara, Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia. Immediately following the signature of the Exchange of Notes, the relevant Loan Agreement between the AfDB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was signed by Mr. Charles Boamah, AfDB Vice President for Finance, and Mr. Atsushi Asano, Chief Representative, JICA Tunis Office.
During the signing ceremony the AfDB President said: “This Fourth Private Sector Assistance Loan is the first under the Second Phase of EPSA, is not only in line with Japan’s commitment at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005 but also a concrete realization of the outcome of the TICAD V in Yokohama. I was fortunate to participate in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) and had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Abe to discuss deepening the collaboration between Japan and Africa through trade and investment. This loan will help in accelerating private sector growth, create employment opportunities, support economic and social infrastructure development, and the investment climate. I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Japanese government and panese people for their generous support and the vote of confidence it represents for our continued partnership under the EPSA Initiative.”
His Excellency Mr. Juichi Takahara, Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia, said that: “Sustainable development of Africa is one of our common concerns and it is imperative to develop the African private sector to accelerate economic growth and create jobs. Indeed, the main theme of the TICAD V in June 2013 was promoting the private sector in Africa. I hope that this Fourth Private Sector Assistance Loan will contribute concretely to the development of the African private sector. I also want to reiterate the commitment and willingness of Japan to continue its support and to assist any development effort in Africa. I take this opportunity to renew my gratitude and recognition to the AfDB, through its President, Dr. Kaberuka, for the fruitful cooperation with Japan.”
This fourth Private Sector Assistance Loan will help fund the Bank’s private sector (non-sovereign) operations supporting African SMEs and investments critical to private sector growth and development. This includes public-private partnerships for the provision of essential economic infrastructure and direct investment by the Bank in key African financial institutions and enterprises.
About the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative
The Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative is an innovative, multi-component, multi-donor framework for resource mobilization and development partnership to support implementation of the AfDB’s Strategy for Private Sector Development. Drawing on successful development experience in Asia and around the globe, EPSA was initially conceived in partnership with the Government of Japan (GOJ), which provided generous support to its launch in 2005. Japan fulfilled its original billion-dollar commitment under the EPSA Initiative in 2011. At the Bank’s Annual Meeting in Arusha at the end of May, 2012, the Japanese Government announced its support for a Second Phase of EPSA similar in amount and composition to the original, i.e., another billion dollars over five years. Japan’s Assistance Package for TICAD V (held in Yokohama at the beginning of June, 2013) included US$ 500 million co-financing with AfDB under EPSA.
About the African Development Bank GroupThe African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 34 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 53 regional member states.