Swedfund, AfDB Partner in Private Sector Growth and Climate Action in Africa

Swedfund and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) have recently intensified their collaboration aimed at fostering private sector growth and climate action throughout Africa. The delegation from Swedfund, the Swedish state development finance institution, led by CEO Maria Hakansson, convened with Senior Vice President Ms. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala of AfDB in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

This meeting underscored the commitment of both institutions to enhance investments in Africa, building upon prior discussions to strengthen their collaboration towards accelerating private sector development and climate action across the continent.

During the convention, Tshabalala highlighted AfDB’s focus on achieving its High 5s agenda and mainstreaming gender and climate considerations in alignment with the newly finalized 10-year strategy. These High 5s encompass initiatives to Light up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. These priority areas are pivotal for advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at transforming the lives of Africans.

“As Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), we play a crucial role in promoting private sector development to mitigate risks,” remarked Tshabalala. She emphasized the importance of attracting private capital, noting that public investment alone at the sovereign level is insufficient. Tshabalala underscored the emphasis on syndications, co-financing arrangements, and providing guarantees and tools to enhance private sector participation.

Building on previous agreements, Swedfund and the African Development Bank reaffirmed their commitment to finance independent power transmission line projects, utilizing project preparation and advisory support to foster conducive environments for public-private partnerships across sub-Saharan Africa.

Senior Vice President Ms. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala of AfDB, right, and Swedfund CEO Maria Hakansson

Furthermore, a visit by Hakansson in late 2023 aimed to explore potential synergies in increasing energy access, promoting financial inclusion, and investing in resilient infrastructure in the region.

Hakansson expressed Swedfund’s interest in expanding its presence in West Africa, acknowledging that investments in the region have trailed those in other areas. Consequently, Swedfund recently inaugurated an office in Abidjan.

Hassatou N’Sele, the Bank’s CFO and Vice President for Finance highlighted the shared priorities between the institutions, including sustainability, job creation, climate action, support for women, and small and medium enterprises.

N’Sele also emphasized the success of a recent hybrid capital transaction that attracted significant interest from the private sector, enabling the Bank to leverage funds for green and sustainable projects. This transaction exemplifies the commitment of both Swedfund and AfDB to catalyzing investments that drive positive socio-economic and environmental impact across Africa.

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