The African Development Bank and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on Wednesday, signed a partnership agreement admitting IFC as the first institutional partner to the Development Finance Compact for Portuguese-Speaking Countries of Africa, or the Lusophone Compact.
The agreement was signed by African Development Bank Vice President for Corporate Services and Human Resources and Chair of the Lusophone Compact Steering Committee, Dr Mateus Magala and Sérgio Pimenta, Regional Vice President for Africa, IFC, in a brief ceremony in the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan.
The signing follows the Lusophone Compact Steering Committee’s approval of IFC’s submission of a proposal to partner in the initiative, based on the Compact’s Membership and Partnership Eligibility Criteria Framework, adopted in December 2020.
Acceptance into the Lusophone Compact is based on two broad principles: support to the initiative’s goal of accelerating inclusive private sector growth and promoting regional integration of the Portuguese speaking countries of Africa, and the provision of specific, value-added contributions aligned with the initiative’s anchors.
“This remarkable milestone will maximize adequate support and delivery for accelerated private sector development and regional integration in the Portuguese-Speaking Countries of Africa. IFC brings its vast experience and global expertise in supporting private sector development across various countries. We are looking forward to working together to scale-up private sector investments in the Lusophone Compact member countries,” Dr Magala, said in remarks during the signing ceremony.
Membership and partnership in the Lusophone Compact are open to African Development Bank Portuguese-speaking regional and non-regional member countries; regional economic committees; development finance institutions; investment banks; commercial banks; institutional investors such as pension funds; sovereign wealth funds; and other private institutions, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and institutions offering technical assistance.
“IFC is fully committed to advancing economic development in Lusophone African countries. We see this signing of the compact for Lusophone Africa and its integrated development plan as a continuation of our work, but now maximized to leverage the skills, knowledge and financing brought by each partner,” said Pimenta.
The Lusophone Compact promotes private sector development by providing risk mitigation, financing instruments, and technical assistance to encourage businesses in member countries.
Pimenta noted that the goals of the Compact align closely with IFC’s Creating Markets strategy being implemented in Lusophone Africa and beyond to unlock opportunities for private sector investment through private sector diagnostic work, risk mitigation and financing of viable projects.
“We very much look forward to working with our partners to leverage our expertise and support the mobilization of private capital into the PALOPs,” Pimenta, added.