WB intends to invest $150 bln in Africa over coming five years: World Bank president

Doaa A.Moneim , Wednesday 19 May 2021

World Bank President David Malpass said that Africa needs large inflows of long-term resources in order to address the challenges created by the pandemic

David Malpass
File Photo: World Bank President David Malpass responds to a question from a reporter during an opening press conference at the IMF and World Bank's 2019 Annual Fall Meetings of finance ministers and bank governors, in Washington, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS

The World Bank (WB) has invested $200 billion in Africa over the past decade and intends to invest and mobilise another $150 billion to support the continent’s development with a large portion of grants and long-term zero interest-rate loans from the International Development Agency (IDA), said WB President David Malpass.

Malpass made his comments on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Paris Summit on the financing of African Economies that concluded on Tuesday.

He added that Africa needs large inflows of long-term resources in order to address the challenges created by the pandemic.

“In addition to the IDA, another important part of our support to Africa will be the mobilisation of the private sector, either directly through the mobilisation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) or indirectly through the mobilisation of funding by the IDA and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on capital markets,” Malpass expounded.

Malpass also said that he discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron a number of initiatives that aim to support the continent, including closing the infrastructure gap and improving access to low-carbon electricity, as well as a proposal of a 3-year pilot for a user-friendly blended finance facility.

Additionally, the IFC and MIGA are about to launch a joint trade finance initiative in select African countries, according to Malpass.

“I underscore the urgency in helping Africa overcome these crises. It’s clear that some countries will soon have vaccine supplies that vastly exceed demand, and I’ve repeatedly urged them to release the excess to countries that have delivery programmes in place. We have board-approved financing operations in many African countries to obtain safe doses and to administer them quickly and fairly as soon as the producer countries, COVAX, or manufacturers are ready,” Malpass clarified.

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