Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
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Nigeria and other African Union (AU) members stand to benefit from an African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) partnership deal that would catalyse new sources of financing to help bridge the $2.5 trillion annual financing gap for development in Africa.
This gap requires that development finance institutions work in partnership.
The two development finance institutions (DFIs) signed a memorandum of understanding that would unlock additional sustainable investment opportunities in Africa, and promote sustainable private sector development on the continent.
Nigeria, like most AU countries suffers from development challenges with severe infrastructure deficits. But the African economic giant needs at least $3 trillion every year for 30 years to meet its huge infrastructure deficit.
Under the partnership, the African Development Bank and the EBRD will capitalize on their respective expertise and experience, with a particular focus on climate change, green and resilient infrastructure and capital markets development. They will also work on improving business environments, bolstering the real economy and mobilising private sector investment.
Covid-19 is threatening progress made towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is exacerbating debt vulnerability of many African countries. Sustainable private sector development will be key to recovery and prosperity across the continent.
“The new partnership agreement between our two institutions will pave the way for us to do more together, especially in supporting the growth of Africa’s private sector. The impact of Covid-19 on government resources is huge and we need to mobilise more private resources to help African countries build back stronger,” said Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president while signing the memorandum with his counterpart, EBRD president, Odile Renaud-Basso.
President Renaud-Basso, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has made the need for better and ever closer collective action even more urgent. Collaboration between the EBRD and the African Development Bank has grown from strength to strength over the years in the region. This partnership will allow our institutions to do even more to promote sustainable private sector development in North Africa.”
The African Development Bank and the EBRD have a long history of cooperation. Last month, the two institutions signed a $114 million financing package for the construction of the largest private solar plant in Egypt.
This new partnership will enable the two institutions to strengthen the potential for joint projects and activities, unlocking investment opportunities in their common countries of operations.