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The African Development Bank (AfDB) board of directors has approved a line of credit of approximately US$79mn and an equity investment of US$24mn, to be granted to the West African Development Bank
The line of credit will support businesses in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, particularly in job-creating sectors such as agribusiness, renewable energy, health, and information and telecommunication, which were drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US$79mn forms part of a US$169mn facility, which will be co-financed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and FINDEV. The US$24mn equity investment is part of a capital increase transaction, which will allow the AfDB to increase its shareholding from 0.55% to 1%, and therefore retain its seat on the board of directors of the West African Development Bank.
In addition, the AfDB will assist the West African Development Bank, through funding from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to set up a technical assistance program to mainstream gender aspects in its project review process and to promote women’s entrepreneurship. The project should help to create or consolidate at least 5,900 jobs (including 2,000 to women).
The facility is strongly aligned with three of the Bank High Five strategic priorities, namely Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa and Improve the quality of life of Africans.