Following the success of the MultiChoice (www.MultiChoice.com) Africa Accelerator (https://bit.ly/3OtthRz) Programme, which secured $16 million (USD) of funding for six emerging businesses last year, the programme has been expanded to eight more countries across Africa.
Many more small businesses in Africa’s technology sector now have the chance to benefit from the 2023 programme, which provides the skills and opportunities needed to attract transformative business funding.
“We’re really excited to be expanding the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme to more African countries,” said Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, announcing the launch.
“It’s part of our long-term commitment to growing and multiplying Africa’s technology potential, which is critical to our future growth.”The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, which kicked off during Global Entrepreneurship Week, is aimed at established start-ups and small enterprises in specific technology sectors – healthtech, agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy and the creative industries.
“There is such incredible business talent across Africa,” said Mawela.
“MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is an opportunity for investors and small enterprise to collaborate to multiply the impact of this talent and scale it across Africa.”Having started in South Africa in 2021, the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is expanding to Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Angola and Ethiopia.
The initiative equips emerging entrepreneurs to secure funding and scale up their businesses, and also provides opportunities to pitch to international investors.
African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has previously noted (https://bit.ly/3U0gRSu) that, “the private sector is Africa’s growth accelerator”, and severa (https://MSEA.go.ke) African (https://SMEDAN.gov.ng) nations (http://www.DSBD.gov.za) have backed small-business development as part of their economic strategy.
The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator dovetails with these development objectives.
The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme is an initiative of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, in collaboration with Dubai-based business incubator Companies Creating Change (C3) (https://www.WeGrowwithc3.com), which gives entrepreneurs access to the tools, skills and financial support to grow their business.
MultiChoice has also partnered with EOH, a tech services company who will bring their expertise to the table especially in terms of tech advisory, development sprint and technical support.
The first phase of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme sees public and private-sector partners in each country nominating businesses or entrepreneurs for the programme.
From there, 29 of the start-ups embark on an intensive virtual training course.
The initiative is aimed at established businesses that are already operating and looking to scale up by attracting further investment.
“Start-up founders get to learn everything from how to properly research your business sector and your market, to how to create a niche for your business,” says Boitumelo Monageng, of Swypa, one of last year’s finalists.
“During the workshops we were encouraged to dig deeper and I realised that we have the potential to compete on a much larger scale.”The virtual training course takes place over several weeks, teaching start-up owners media skills, how best to market their businesses to investors, how to create attractive business plans, and to know what investors are looking for.
Later, the entrepreneurs will come together at a finals event, where 11 start-ups will be selected for the final pitch phase.
They will attend a dedicated C3 boot camp to learn how to shape their story for international investors, and to get “pitch ready” before their big presentations.
“We believe SMEs in the technology, sustainability and creative sectors will be fundamental to the next phase of Africa’s growth,” says Mawela.
“The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator is geared to finding the most promising start-ups, and empowering them to play this critical role.”
I wish to express my condolences and sympathies to the Government and people of Japan on the tragic death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
We mourn the loss of a great world statesman.
Shinzo Abe was a gentleman, a caring and visionary leader, who worked for a better and more peaceful world. He will be greatly missed.
Shinzo Abe had a special love and affection for Africa.
During the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-6) in 2016, I had the privilege of meeting with him and several heads of state to help find a way to provide Africa with access to cleaner Japanese sources of energy. The result of that meeting was an invitation to visit him in Tokyo and a subsequent decision by the Japanese government to provide a major clean energy financing mechanism to Africa.
During the 30th anniversary of the Sasakawa Foundation in 2016 in Tokyo, he seized the occasion and delivered a moving and memorable speech on the importance of food security in Africa.
We meet again in 2019, at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron during the G7 leaders' summit in Biarritz. As always, she strongly supported the efforts of the African Development Bank to support African women through the Affirmative Financial Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative, for which the G7 later helped raise $450 million, with the goal to mobilize $5 billion for women in Africa.
Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the African Development Bank was given prominence in Japan's foreign policy. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Bank signed the $3 billion Enhanced Private Sector Assistance Agreements for Africa (EPSA-3) and $3.5 billion EPSA-4 for co-financing in Africa, further boosting investments in Africa's infrastructure and private sector. .
It is to Shinzo Abe's credit that the term “quality infrastructure” was coined and integrated into global infrastructure financing by the G20.
Under the exemplary leadership of Shinzo Abe, the ties between Africa and Japan became stronger than ever.
We will be forever indebted to the lasting contributions Shinzo Abe made to our continent.
I send my deepest condolences to his dear wife, family, and the government and people of Japan at this time of so much pain.
I share your grief and sorrow over the loss of one of the greatest world leaders of our generation. Shinzo Abe's death is a great loss for Japan and the world.
May his soul rest in peace.
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina President, African Development Bank Group
The Executive Director of the Global Center on Adaptation (www.GCA.org), Professor Patrick Verkooijen, welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta as the Global Champion of the Africa Adaptation Accelerator Program (AAAP) at the Leaders' Dialogue on Adaptation. adaptation action in Africa in Nairobi on Thursday 7th July.
President Kenyatta has been a key driving force behind the AAAP, an Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative jointly developed by the Global Center for Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) that is mobilizing US$25,000 million for climate adaptation in the areas of food security, resilient infrastructure, adaptation work and climate finance by 2025.
As AAAP Global Champion, President Kenyatta will continue, in his personal capacity, to advance his bold leadership on climate adaptation in Kenya to mobilize the global community to deliver on his commitment to double global climate finance.
“Africa, indeed the world, is facing multiple global shocks that are reverberating across our economies. The catastrophic drought in the Horn of Africa, exacerbated by climate change, threatens lives and livelihoods and requires an immediate response. Many African nations, including Kenya, are suffering losses of around three percent of GDP per year due to the current climate threat,” said President Kenyatta.
“I accepted the role of AAAP Global Champion to drive the critical actions and global finance needed to address the current climate and food crisis, and to build a more resilient continent. AAAP is Africa's blueprint that puts Africa's youth and jobs at the center of the adaptation agenda for a green and prosperous Africa."
President Kenyatta's support as AAAP World Champion is critical ahead of the 'African COP' in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022 to accelerate adaptation action and drive substantive contributions to AAAP at the Africa Adaptation Summit: GCA High-Level Dialogue for COP27, to be held at the GCA headquarters on Monday, September 5. AAAP's catalytic interventions have already made a rapid impact at scale by incorporating adaptation into projects worth more than $3 billion since 2021.
In a statement to the press, Professor Patrick Verkooijen stated that “Africa is tired of waiting. I am deeply honored to continue working alongside President Kenyatta to move Africa forward better by financing a greener, more resilient and prosperous continent that puts people in the driver's seat."
“Adaptation is not only possible; it makes economic sense. Investing in climate adaptation is good for our health. Good for our planet. And good for our economies.”
World leaders congratulated President Kenyatta on his appointment.
Ban Ki-moon, President of the Global Adaptation Center and eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “Your Excellency, I am aware of your proven leadership on climate adaptation in Africa. You are and will be the strongest voice to mobilize the global community, to make sure countries meet their climate finance commitments, to make sure they support the largest adaptation initiative on this great continent.”
Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the International Monetary Fund, said: “Mr. President, your leadership has already inspired others to step up and accelerate action to address global warming, and there is no one better to champion adaptation in Africa, including much-needed financing. [...] This is why AAAP and its upstream financing facility are so important.”
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the World Trade Organization, said: “I would like to congratulate my brother, Uhuru Kenyatta, for being a driving force behind the Africa Adaptation Accelerator Program. His strong voice and leadership will inspire others to scale up and accelerate the actions needed to adapt to climate change. As an eminent international statesman, President Kenyatta's leadership on this issue is greatly appreciated and he is a powerful example to others."
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said: “I would like to applaud the decision of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, now President of the Global Center on Adaptation, and, Of course, Professor Patrick Verkooijen, Executive Director of the Global Adaptation Center, in selecting you, President Kenyatta, as the world champion of the Africa Adaptation Accelerator Programme. The time is right, just before COP27, the African COP, in Egypt. It's time to turn promises into resources. It's time to turn exaltation into execution. It's time to turn hope into reality. And for that we need a champion, a proven leader, with a respected global voice. President Kenyatta is a doer. President Kenyatta is a climate friendly leader. President Kenyatta's dynamism, voice and leadership will help as we push for more financing for climate adaptation in Africa."
The government of Ghana has signed a grant agreement with the African Development Fund, and a financing agreement with the government of Switzerland, for the Ghana Mini Grid and Solar PV Net Metering project. The project will benefit schools, health centers and communities throughout the country.
The agreements, for the development of 35 mini-grids and stand-alone solar PV systems, were signed on Wednesday, May 25, in a short ceremony held on the sidelines of the 2022 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group. They were signed by the Minister of Finance of Ghana, Ken Ofori-Atta, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group, Ambassador Dominique Paravicini, Governor of the African Development Bank Group for Switzerland, and Dr. Akinwumi A Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. Bank.
The post-Covid-19 era has highlighted the importance of reliable energy services. The project will support the Ghana Covid-19 Business Relief and Revitalization Support (Ghana CARES) program, which identifies the energy sector as an enabler of economic transformation.
Minister Ofori-Atta said the agreement demonstrates his government's commitment to improving the economic and social viability of low-carbon investments and achieving energy efficiency. Ghana's electricity access rate is currently 87.13%, the minister revealed. The last mile is often the most expensive and difficult, he noted.
Today's event not only marks the first stage, but marks an important milestone in providing climate-conscious development across the country,” said Ofori-Atta. “It is truly important and meaningful to us as we move towards net zero.”
Ambassador Paravicini said: “We are pleased to have reached another milestone in our cooperation with this wonderful country. Together, we hope that this project will bring sustainable and affordable electricity to more than 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses and nearly 5,000 homes, as well as 1,100 public buildings.”
Dr. Adesina said: “The Bank supports Ghana's efforts to build resilience to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing electricity to health care facilities, schools and island communities, which are currently without electricity. access to electricity services, which allows for vaccine refrigeration and testing facilities in these communities.”
The funding from the Government of Switzerland will specifically support the expansion of Ghana's existing net metering program and will deploy up to 12,000 units of roof-mounted net metering solar photovoltaic systems for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and households. Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity.
The systems will power 750 small and medium-sized businesses, 400 schools, 200 health centers and the energy service systems in 100 communities in the Lake Volta Region and the Northern Region of Ghana. The Ghana Mini Grid and Solar PV Net Metering project is expected to have an estimated annual renewable energy electricity production of 111,361MWh, corresponding to an installed capacity of 67.5MW. The project will mitigate greenhouse gas emissions of 0.7795 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year and create up to 2,865 jobs during construction, of which 30% will go to women and youth.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $85.88 million which includes the mini grid component - $40.29 million and a net metering component of $44.89 million. It will be financed with $27.39 million from the African Development Fund; Government of Ghana counterpart financing of $16 million; and $14 million from the Swiss government. In addition, the African Development Bank Group, as executing entity of the Climate Investment Funds, leveraged concessional financing of $28.49 million.
The annual meetings of the African Development Bank Group are taking place in Accra, Ghana, under the theme: Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa.
Statement by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org):
I am extremely honored by several calls from Nigerians at home and abroad who should consider running for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
I am deeply moved by all who have gone to great lengths, at such great sacrifices, of their own volition, to consider me worthy of being put forward for possible consideration. The coalition groups of youth, women, farmers, physically challenged and well-intentioned Nigerians who have done this have expressed their genuine free will, political right, freedom of expression and association for my consideration, with the interest of Nigeria at heart.
While I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful for all of the incredible goodwill, kindness, and trust, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept being considerate.
I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for the development of Africa.
I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting Africa's accelerated development and economic integration.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
May God bless Africa.
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina
The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Karen Rot-Münstermann as Assessor General of the African Development Bank, effective April 16, 2022.
Ms. Rot-Münstermann, a Dutch citizen, is currently Acting General Evaluator and Division Manager, Knowledge Management, Dissemination and Capacity Building at the Independent Development Evaluation Department (BDEV).
Before joining the Bank in 2009, Ms. Rot-Münstermann was Senior Policy Advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Finance (Treasury, Department of Foreign Financial Relations). As an office officer of the African Development Bank, he contributed to several initiatives that led to a 13% increase in the Dutch shareholding in the Bank in 2005, as well as a 54% increase in the Dutch contribution to the 11th replenishment of the African Development Fund. At the Ministry of Finance, he worked on a wide range of topics, including international development, governance and financing of multilateral development banks, debt and debt sustainability, and contributed to the definition and presentation of the Ministry's policy. Dutch government in these areas.
Ms. Rot-Münstermann joined the Bank in February 2009 in the Resource Mobilization Department, which is responsible for the three-year replenishment process of the African Development Fund (ADF) and the allocation of ADF resources to African countries. In June 2014, she was appointed Knowledge Management, Dissemination and Capacity Development Division Manager, where she established a new identity for the independent evaluation function, renaming it from Operations Evaluation Department to Independent Development Evaluation. Ms. Rot-Münstermann then served as Interim General Evaluator from September 2018 to August 2019, and from November 2020 to the present.
As Interim General Evaluator, she has presented more than 35 evaluations to the Bank's Board of Directors, including the very complex and urgent evaluation of the implementation of the Bank's Business Development and Delivery Model (requested by the Board of Governors), the evaluation of three Partial Evaluation of Quality Assurance Across the Project Cycle of the African Development Bank, the Evaluation of Program-Based Operations, and the Evaluation of Mainstreaming Green Growth and Climate Change in Bank Interventions. She also led the development of the independent evaluation work program 2019-2021 and 2022-2024, ensuring that the evaluations are well aligned with the Bank's strategic priorities. Additionally, she has actively participated in high-level discussions, representing the Bank both internally and externally, and promoting its visibility.
With more than 20 years of experience in international relations and development, Ms. Rot-Münstermann has built a strong network for the Independent Development Evaluation function, reaching members of the Board of Directors and Senior Management of the Bank and the Departments of Evaluation of sister multilateral financial institutions and other members of the international evaluation community. He has a track record of managing constructive working relationships, high-level dialogue, and smooth coordination with Bank staff and management, donor country representatives, and other stakeholders on a wide range of Africa-related policies, activities, and issues. Development Fund and Bank operations.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms. Rot-Münstermann said: “I am grateful for the trust placed in me by both the Bank's President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, and the Board of Directors. I will work effectively with the Bank's President, Board of Directors, Senior Management and staff, and our shareholders, to ensure that the Independent Development Evaluation function enhances accountability, promotes learning and informs the formulation of new directions, policies and procedures for the Bank."
Commenting on her appointment, African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said: “Karen has a good understanding of the mandate of the Independent Development Assessment, having worked with the institution for over 10 years. years in various capacities. Her extensive experience, knowledge of the Bank and its operations will enable her to build effective working relationships with the Bank's internal and external stakeholders, and effectively fulfill the mandate of the Assessor General in the best interest of the Bank”.
Ms. Rot-Münstermann has a Master's in Political Science from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, a Master's in European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and a Master's in Economics from the University of Warwick, UK.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been named the 2022 winner of the Africa Road Builders-Babacar Ndiaye Trophy. The award is given to outstanding figures in Africa who have demonstrated their commitment to the development of transport infrastructure on the continent.
The award selection committee praised Hassan for his “personal leadership, extensive investment and commitment” to expanding the road and rail network in Tanzania. "We send our warm congratulations to President Samia Hassan and the people of Tanzania," the selection committee said.
The committee took note of the $290 million provided by the African Development Bank to support the revitalization of road, rail and air transport in Tanzania. It also took into account the $172.2 million contract signed with China Corporation Limited to supply the country with 1,430 modern freight cars to implement Tanzania Railways Corporation's ambitious rail programme. Finally, the committee took note of the official start of construction of the historic project to build an outer ring road around the city of Dodoma. This project was launched by President Hassan on February 11, in the presence of the President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina.
Currently the only female head of state in Africa, Hassan came to power in March 2021, following the death of President John Magufuli, under whom she served as vice president.
Sponsored by Adesina of the African Development Bank, the Africa Road Builders Babacar Ndiaye Trophy is organized by Acturoutes, an information platform on infrastructure and roads in Africa, and the organization Media for Infrastructure and Finance in Africa (MIFA), a network of journalists. Africans specialized in road infrastructure. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari received the award in 2021.
The trophy was instituted in honor of Babacar Ndiaye, president of the African Development Bank Group from 1985 to 1995. The 2022 trophy will be awarded at the final Africa Road Builders conference, which is scheduled to take place alongside the next one in the African Development Bank. Annual meetings in May in Accra, Ghana.
The President of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org), Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, concluded an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Friday. The three-day visit covered engagements in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The visit, which took place in conjunction with the World Government Summit and the closing days of Expo 2020 Dubai, explored potential partnerships for strategic investment in Africa between the African Development Bank Group and the UAE, in renewable energy, agriculture and food production.
His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Deputy Governor of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the United Arab Emirates, and head of the African Development Bank, discussed strategic opportunities that would strengthen economic ties between the UAE, the Bank and Africa. .
Praising the exceptionally visionary leadership of the UAE, Adesina said: “Africa has much to gain from the remarkable success of the UAE. What the UAE has done, using its resources, drive and determination to make the country what it is today is very impressive. We are looking forward to seeing the UAE become an even more valuable and important investment partner in Africa. The UAE has been a very valuable participant in the African Development Fund, the concessional lending arm of our Banking Group that supports low-income countries since 1978. Hopefully, at some point we will be able to welcome the UAE as a member. of the African Development Bank. ”
Adesina also held a series of bilateral meetings with other senior members of the UAE government and heads of state-owned companies. They included talks with the Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, who is also Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai, and the Minister of State for African Affairs, Her Excellency Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak. Al Nahan.
Hosting the head of the African Development Bank, the Minister of State in charge of African Affairs, His Excellency Sheikh Shakhbout, spoke about the UAE's desire to help African countries diversify their economies, provide value-added support for small and medium-sized businesses, explore potential investment opportunities in social housing, and connect young African fintech companies with the innovations that would allow them to grow and prosper on the continent.
The President of the African Development Bank and the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, also signed a memorandum of understanding for closer collaboration, on behalf of their respective institutions.
Suwaidi said: “We consider the African Development Bank to be the Think Tank of the continent. We believe that Africa is the world's next growth frontier and we don't want to miss it."
Adesina and His Excellency Sultan Bin Sulayem, CEO of Dubai Ports World, the world's largest port operator with 78 sea and land terminals in more than 60 countries, held substantive discussions. The Bank has actively financed port infrastructure projects in Africa. Adesina and Sulayem discussed investment cooperation that would link African ports with industrial and renewable energy hubs, including food production and agricultural processing.
Equally productive discussions were held with Dr. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, an innovative renewable energy company from Abu Dhabi; His Excellency Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, CEO and Chief Strategy and Risk Officer of Mubadala, a sovereign investor managing a diverse portfolio of UAE and global assets; with senior officials from TAQA, one of the UAE's leading energy companies; and with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).
Discussions highlighted investment synergies between the United Arab Emirates' Etihad 7 energy initiative and the African Development Bank's Desert to Power initiative, with a combined potential to provide renewable energy to 350 million people.
As a keynote speaker at the Annual Dubai Investment Forum and during meetings with key government, business and investment leaders, Adesina highlighted the continent's vast untapped potential across various sectors, the bank's unparalleled knowledge of the development and investment landscape of Africa and the risk management instruments of the institutions.
The head of the African Development Bank extended invitations to attend the next edition of the Africa Investment Forum, Africa's leading investment platform, in November 2022, to key leaders and institutions. The Africa Investment Forum, founded by the Bank and seven other partner institutions, has attracted more than $100 billion in investment interest in Africa since its inception in 2018.
The African Development Bank Group is Africa's leading infrastructure investor and the continent's only Triple-A rated financial institution.Video (best of , 1st day) - https://bit.ly/36LvJS0 Photos - https://bit.ly/3LyqbJd
The President of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org), Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, arrived in Dubai today at the start of a three-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates.
The head of the Bank Group is expected to meet with His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Minister of Finance of the United Arab Emirates.
Adesina will also hold bilateral meetings with other senior government officials and heads of state-owned companies. They include talks with the Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, who is also Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai, and the Minister of State for African Affairs, Her Excellency Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak. Al Nahan.
Much of the focus of the visit will be to strengthen ties and build closer collaboration between the African Development Bank and the United Arab Emirates.
"We are looking forward to seeing the UAE become a valuable partner and major investor in Africa," Adesina said, adding, "There is much that the African Development Bank and the UAE can do together."
Given the strong push from the African Development Bank to finance infrastructure on the continent, among other equally important priority areas, Adesina will meet with the CEO of Dubai Ports World, His Excellency Sultan Bin Sulayem. Dubai Ports World is the largest port operator, operating 78 sea and land terminals in more than 60 countries. The African Development Bank has been actively involved in financing port infrastructure projects in Africa.
Renewable energy is expected to be a potential area of joint investment interest. The United Arab Emirates has made significant progress in green growth and renewable energy.
The Bank is one of the main co-financers of the Desert to Power initiative in Africa's Sahel, a project that will connect 250 million people to electricity, taking advantage of the region's abundant solar resources.
The head of the African Development Bank Group will also visit the Abu Dhabi Development Fund.
With Expo 2020 Dubai wrapping up this week and attracting visitors from around the world, Adesina will tour the expo, visiting pavilions from the United Arab Emirates, the African Union and Nigeria.
The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) and the Economic Community Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) signed a memorandum of understanding for $3.56 million in grants to support the development of pharmaceutical industries in West Africa .
Lamin Barrow, Managing Director of the Bank of Nigeria and Mamadou Traoré, ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of Industry and the Private Sector, signed the agreement for the West Africa Pharmaceutical Industry Development Support Project on Wednesday.
The total cost of the project is $3.77 million, to which the ECOWAS Commission will contribute $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in kind.
The funds will support the implementation of regulations to allow duty-free access to pharmaceutical raw materials, packaging and finished products under the ECOWAS Common External Tariff. It will also help establish an effective regional pharmaceutical regulatory ecosystem by providing technical assistance programs for regional regulatory authorities.
Commissioner Traoré said: "Local production of pharmaceuticals and biologicals has become a regional imperative and priority, as has the provision of health care services. The African Development Bank's support for these priorities will help ECOWAS to achieve its development goals.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, African Development Bank Director General for Nigeria, Lamin Barrow, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has further exposed the fragility of our national health care systems and has posed significant disruptions to global pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chains. This underlines the urgency of accelerating efforts to ensure a minimum level of supply of health products."
The project will improve the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry through better quality and product standards and help ensure that the region complies with best practices in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products and supplies. It will strengthen regional training institutions and laboratories to ensure that the required skills are available to support the regional growth of the industry in a gender sensitive and environmentally friendly manner.
In response to calls from the African Union and the pharmaceutical industry, the African Development Bank has taken a leading role in developing and advancing a continental Vision and Action Plan for a new African pharmaceutical order. The president of the Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, announced last year that the institution would mobilize up to $3 billion to support this development.
The project will also promote the Bank's efforts to support the harmonization of the regulatory environment for pharmaceutical products in Africa at the regional and continental levels. This, together with the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area, will deepen intra-African trade and integration, boosting regional markets.
Bank Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization Solomon Quaynor said: "To develop the pharmaceutical industry, the African Development Bank will help develop local production capabilities to increase the market share of the value of pharmaceutical production. Africa (local and regional) to 45-55% by 2030".
The project aligns with three of the five main strategic priorities of the African Development Bank: Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa. It also promotes the Bank's Regional Integration Strategy for West Africa and is in line with the Bank's gender strategy and its strategic response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ECOWAS Commission will be the executing agency for this project, which will last for two years, starting in 2022. The West African Health Organization will be the implementing agency.