The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Fund (ADF) – the concessional arm of the African Development Bank signed a loan agreement of 73.6 billion Japanese yen ($668.1 million) to support the 15th replenishment of the African Development z(ADF-15).
This was contained in a statement issued by African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi A. Adesina, during a virtual signing ceremony of the loan agreement on Tuesday, February 16.
The statement read: “The concessional donor loan will support the 15th replenishment of the African Development Fund, approved in December 2019 by ADF donor countries. JICA is extending the loan – the largest to ADF-15 – on behalf of the Government of Japan.
“This is a continuation of the strong leadership role of Japan in providing concessional loans to the African Development Fund.
“Japan was the largest provider of concessional donor loans to the African Development Fund’s 15th replenishment, just like Japan was also under the African Development Fund’s 14th replenishment.
“Japan continues to add great value to the overall replenishment cycles of the African Development Fund.
“The latest loan will greatly boost the liquidity of the African Development Fund and allow us to ramp up much-needed support to the ADF countries…especially now at this critical time when they are struggling to cope with and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Also speaking about the agreement, Japanese Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Kuramitsu Hideaki, said: “I sincerely hope that this loan in yen will allow the (African Development Fund) to execute concessional financing and grants for African countries facing emerging challenges caused by COVID-19 and contribute to the economic and social development of these countries.”
On his part, JICA President, Kitaoka Shinichi, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated global structural changes.
“Africa is still in the midst of this crisis, facing serious challenges from coronavirus variants and the cold storage requirements for vaccines.”
“Only a united Africa can defeat this threat to humanity. We should not allow this virus to jeopardize the steady progress of freedoms, independence and democracy that African countries have made so far”.
“I firmly believe that today’s contribution to ADF-15 will further boost our cooperation with African countries and strengthen our partnership with the African Development Bank Group.”
Mimura Atsushi, Deputy Director-General/ADF Deputy, International Bureau, Ministry of Finance Japan, said: “The African Development Fund is a key source of financing for Africa’s low-income countries heavily affected by COVID-19”.
“The Yen Loan we are providing today has a higher grant-element compared to the Yen Loan provided for the last ADF replenishment, with a lower interest rate and longer maturity. Going forward, I would like to see our partnership further developed with the African Development Bank Group.”