Japanese Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Kuramitsu Hideaki, says the JPY73.6bn ($668.1m) concession loan agreement to the African Development Fund will promote industrial human resource development, innovation and investment.
This was captured in a statement announcing the Japan International Cooperation Agency and ADF $668.1m loan pact.
According to Mr Hideaki, the loan formed part of Japan’s commitment to promote industrial human resource development, innovation and investment, and to invest in quality infrastructure to enhance connectivity, expressed at the TICAD 7 conference in August 2019.
“I sincerely hope that this loan in yen will allow the ADF to execute concessional financing and grants for African countries facing emerging challenges caused by COVID-19 and contribute to the economic and social development of these countries,” he said.
Deputy Director-General/ADF Deputy, International Bureau, Ministry of Finance Japan, Mimura Atsushi, said, “The ADF is a key source of financing for Africa’s low-income countries heavily affected by COVID-19. The yen loan we are providing today has a higher grant element compared to the yen loan provided for the last ADF replenishment, with a lower interest rate and longer maturity. Going forward, I would like to see our partnership further developed with the AfDB Group.”
AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the latest loan “will greatly boost the liquidity of the ADF and allow it to ramp up much-needed support to the ADF countries, especially at this critical time when they are struggling to cope with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to him, Japan has so far contributed $4.6bn to the initiative. Japan’s concessional donor loan was almost 10 per cent of the total ADF-15 resources of $7.5bn.
“This is a continuation of the strong leadership role of Japan in providing concessional loans to the ADF. Japan was the largest provider of concessional donor loans to the ADF’s 15th replenishment, just like Japan was also under the 14th replenishment,” he said.
By the end of the ADF-15 period (2020-2022), it is expected that the ADF’s projects would have changed the lives of millions of Africans. Up to 28,000km of new or improved power distribution lines would have been installed, around nine million people would have improved access to water and sanitation, and up to $1.6bn of turnover would have been generated from investments in micro, small and medium-size enterprises.
JICA President, Kitaoka Shinichi, noted, “The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated global structural changes. Africa is still in the midst of this crisis, facing serious challenges from coronavirus variants and the cold storage requirements for vaccines. Only a united Africa can defeat this threat to humanity.”
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