Banking & Finance

Gambia welcomes UNCTAD’s recommendations to improve the investment climate

unctad 1High-level government officials, private sector representatives, and development partners participated in the presentation of UNCTAD's Investment Policy Review of the Gambia last week

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World Bank announces record US$57bn for sub-Saharan Africa

Sub Saharan Africa definition UNFollowing a meeting with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, announced on 19 March that a record US$57bn in financing for Sub-Saharan African countries over the next three fiscal years


The bulk of the financing, US$45bn will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group's fund for the poorest countries. The financing for Sub-Saharan Africa also will include an estimated US$8bn in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the Bank Group, and US$4bn in financing from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, its non-concessional public sector arm.

Sixty percent of the IDA financing is expected to go to Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than half of the countries eligible for IDA financing. This funding is available for the period known as IDA18, which runs from 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2020.

"This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. "With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programs in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure, and institutional reform."

"This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises," Kim said.  

The IDA financing for operations in Africa will be critical to addressing roadblocks that prevent the region from reaching its potential. To support countries' development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility, and violence; building resilience to crises including forced displacement, climate change, and pandemics; and reducing gender inequality. Efforts will also promote governance and institution building, as well as jobs and economic transformation. 

This World Bank Group financing will support transformational projects during the FY18-20 period. IBRD priorities will include health, education, and infrastructure projects such as expanding water distribution and access to power. The priorities for the private sector investment will include infrastructure, financial markets, and agribusiness. IFC also will deepen its engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states and increase climate-related investments.

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National Bank of Angola to continue currency transfer to commercial banks

luanda african reviewAt a meeting held in Luanda, Angola the governor of the Central Bank National Bank of Angola said he guarantees currency to commercial banks

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Ecobank launch US$500,000 Fintech Challenge for African start-ups

Ecobank detruit au maliThe leading pan-African banking group, Ecobank, has launched the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, where African technology start-ups can compete for major start-up funding

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The growth of Islamic financing in Africa's infrastructure

Philippine stock market boardAs featured in the latest issue of African Review, Islamic finance remains a niche in Africa but it is growing, driven in part by the continent's urgent need for new and innovative ways to fund infrastructure development

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