World Bank Group Financing – Following a meeting with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim has proposed a financing plan to help Africa.
South Africa is the only African country that is a G20 member.
During the meeting which took place in Germany on Sunday, March 19, 2017, it was announced that $57 billion will be handed to Africa to finance several vital projects in the sub-Sahara.
President Kim also reportedly left on a trip to East Africa- Rwanda and Tanzania- to emphasize the Bank Group’s support for the area.
“This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region,”
“With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programmes in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure and institutional reform,”
A statement on the bank’s website says that out of the $57 billion, $45 billion will come from the International Development Association (IDA).
IDA is the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.
The sub-Sahara is considered the typical region in need of help from the IDA. Thus 60% of the IDA financing is expected to go to the region which is home to well over half of the total number of countries eligible for IDA financing.
The funding will be available from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020. So far the funding has helped to provide health care and nutrition services for about 400 million people; water access to 45 million; and 5 GW generation of power.
The International Development Association currently has a target of 448 projects that are already works in progress in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the World Bank, the rest of the $12 billion will be invested in the private sectors of which the priorities include infrastructure, financial markets, and agro-businesses.
“The financing for Sub-Saharan Africa also will include an estimated $8 billion in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the Bank Group, and $4 billion in financing from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, its non-concessional public sector arm.”
With the multi-billion allocation to Africa, World Bank intends to revamp and develop the different facets of Africa for the better. It is hoped that the money will be made “available through special “windows” to finance regional initiatives and transformative projects.”
A substantial amount is to be dedicated to the improvement of Africa’s refugee crisis and the support of their host countries.
President Jim Yong Kim is optimistic that the financing of these sub-Saharan projects will go a long way in fostering development and good governance as well in the continent.
“This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises,”
The statement also says that the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will tackle top priorities like health, education, and infrastructural projects.