AFRICA- Japan and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have announced a joint target of $3.5 billion under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4).

The announcement was made during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) that is currently taking place in Yokohama, Japan.

Both Japan and the Bank have set a target of $1.75 billion each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA.

The funds will be used to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.

“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the Bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance,” Mr. Keisuke Suzuki said.

Electricity, transportation, and health will be key priorities under EPSA4.

Projects and programs for the 3 key priorities will be formulated and implemented in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment.

African countries will also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.

“The African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are long-term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed to support the private sector,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development, said during his address.

Japan (through JICA) and the AfDB have been co-financing projects in Africa for the past 13 years.

During EPSA1 (2005-2011), Japan set the target of providing $ 1 billion in loans and $ 2 billion under the second phase (2012-2016).

The ongoing EPSA3 (2017-2019), Japan and the African Development Bank are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $ 3 billion.

So far, JICA and ADB have co-financed over 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks across the continent.

The three intersections in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and Power Sector Reform Program in Angola are examples of JICA-ADB financed projects.