Monday, 2 June 2014

Africa’s devt banks root for joint efforts to help reduce poverty

The Chief Executive Officer of Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) Alex Kanyankole said BRD positioned itself in order to access affordable funding for on lending to private sector. The African experience has been one of accelerated economic growth with few jobs created and negligible poverty reduction. Speaking during the association’s annual general assembly at the Kigali Serena Hotel AfDB Annual Meeting Village, Prof Samuel Wangwe, a policy researcher from Tanzania, said the best way to alleviate poverty and ensure sustainable economic growth was to increase productivity levels and create more jobs.

“The employment challenge in Africa today is the large number of self-employed poor, working in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, mainly in the informal sector,” he said.

He challenged development finance institutions to design innovative financial instruments, expand productive capacities through capital accumulation and form strategic alliances to address these challenges. He pointed out that the development financial institutions agreed to improve their capacities and also boost funding for projects in infrastructure, green technologies, agricultural productivity and export trade, saying these sectors are critical to achieving Africa’s development goals.

He said BRD works with other development financial institutions to leverage on funds, which are targeted at financing sustainable development projects locally.

“This way, we can be able to raise low-cost funds and do onward lending to the private sector,” he explained.

He added that the approach allows the private sector to also engage in infrastructure projects. However, Patrick Dlamini, the Chief Executive Officer of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), noted that many private sector projects in Africa are still unbankable. Dlamini called on bankers to sensitise the private sector to help them develop bankable projects, saying this is the only way to empower the business community. The development bankers also agreed to fast-track funding of infrastructure projects to spur continental growth.


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