Multilateral development banks call for new focus in sub-Saharan Africa

Satellite view of Africa

Unanimous call for urgent focus on the private finance sector to help recovery and response after tough 2020.

A consortium of multilateral development banks (MDBs) and trade research institutions, has issued a report calling for an immediate refocus of approach in sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen finance, the private sector and small enterprise.

The report, which brings together perspectives and insights from 70 trade finance executives across 20 countries, unanimously calls for an urgent change in the focus of support programmes that would help avoid a ‘second wave insolvency crisis’ that threatens greater, and far more widespread, economic hardship on the continent than has already been seen in 2020.

Many private suppliers of financial investment have “flown to safety”, according to the report, severely restricting finance available for much of Africa – holding back large numbers of international development projects across the continent.

The report makes several priority recommendations for MDBs. These include a switch in focus to private sector support and increasing availability of risk-sharing instruments. It also illustrates the need to emphasise pooling of efforts and resources across MDBs operating in Africa to respond more effectively.

Contributing organisations include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Banque Ouest-Africaine de Développement (BOAD), the East African Development Bank (EADB), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade Center (ITC), the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), and the Trade & Development Bank (TDB).