World Bank to invest $150bn in Africa’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery

World Bank Group President David Malpass has said at the Western and Central Africa Regional Media Roundtable that the Bretton Woods institution intends investing $150 billion in African to assist the continent’s various economies to recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Bank Group

Over the last ten years, the WBG has invested over $200 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa, and, as I announced on Tuesday at the Summit of Financing African Economies in France, in just the next five years, we intend to invest and mobilise about $150 billion in Africa to support the continent’s recovery from the pandemic and its long-term development,” Mr Malpass said.

A “large portion” of this will be through grants and long-term, zero-interest-rate loans from IDA, which continues to provide “strong positive” net flows to Africa, he explained.

An “ambitious and successful” IDA20 replenishment by December 2021, he noted, “will be critical to provide the concessional financing and grants that the IDA countries in Africa urgently need”.

As part of the World Bank Group’s immediate response to the crisis, it has been assisting countries with the purchase and deployment of vaccines.

IFC has supported the private sector in the region to create jobs across critical sectors such as manufacturing and agribusiness; and is helping pharmaceutical companies to expand their local vaccine manufacturing capacity and supporting innovative business models to expand availability of testing and treatment,” Mr Malpass added.

According to him, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Bank has made available “more than $24 billion to African countries to support their health and economic recovery”.

Our Board has authorised up to $12 billion worldwide to support countries in their vaccination efforts. As of today, 38 African countries (18 for West and Central Africa) have requested the World Bank’s support for vaccine financing projects. Six projects in Africa have already been approved, including Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, and The Gambia, and many more are scheduled to be approved in the coming month,” he noted.

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