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WORLD BANK PLEDGES $150BN FOR AFRICA

By BUUMBA CHIMBULU

THE World Bank will invest US$150 billion in Africa over the coming five years to support the continent’s development with a large portion of grants.

The group has invested US$200 billion in Africa over the past decade and intends to mobilise another US$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), says its president, David Malpass. Mr Malpass said Africa needed large inflows of long-term resources to address the challenges created by the pandemic. He made his comments on the side-lines of the recent Paris Summit on the financing of African Economies. “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 and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency or indirectly through the mobilisation of funding,” Mr Malpass said.

Mr Malpass said that he discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron a number of initiatives that aimed to support the continent.

He explained that this included closing the infrastructure gap and improving access to low-carbon electricity, as well as a proposal of a three-year pilot for a user-friendly blended finance facility.

“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,” said Mr Malpass.

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