The Japanese government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have formed a $5 billion financial partnership to assist countries in the region experiencing debt crises.
According to a statement on the AfDB website, the bank made the vow on Sunday at the eighth Tokyo international conference on African development (TICAD8) in Tunisia.
The AfDB stated that the assistance would be provided during the fifth phase of the enhanced private sector assistance for Africa project (EPSA 5) from 2023 to 2025.
It stated that the fund will consist of $4 billion from the existing window and an extra $1 billion from a new “special window.”
The AfDB also stated that Japan would open a special window to assist countries that are making progress in improving debt transparency and sustainability, as well as other reforms, resulting in consistent and significant improvements in their debt circumstances.
At the launch of EPSA 5, Japan’s vice-minister of finance for foreign affairs, Masato Kanda, stated the government was dedicated to assisting African countries while respecting local aspirations.
Akihiko Tanaka, president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), also spoke at the occasion, saying that improving resilience and boosting human security were essential components of Japan’s support for Africa.
“EPSA is a critical component of our collaboration with the African Development Bank to address the continent’s social and economic challenges.” Tanaka was quoted in the announcement as adding, “JICA commits to working with EPSA to create a bright and prosperous future.”
According to the announcement, given the importance of food security, Japan and the AfDB would prioritize agriculture and nutrition under EPSA 5.
It went on to say that the EPSA 5 would prioritize electricity, connectivity, and health in order to address significant concerns in Africa.
“Japan and the bank would further collaborate to assist countries facing enormous challenges such as food security, climate change, health, digitisation, and debt issues,” the statement continued.
Speaking about the proposal, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said it was the kind of cooperation Africa and the globe needed.
“With the escalation of climate change impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine, we must do even more to mobilize the private sector and create job opportunities in Africa,” he said.
“The newly signed initiative will have a positive impact on millions of lives throughout Africa.”