The European Business Council for Africa

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken will visit Senegal on Saturday, the final stop on a three-country Africa visit this week that also took him to Kenya and Nigeria.


It’s Washington’s top diplomat’s first trip to the continent under the Biden administration, which in July said it plans to revamp U.S. - Africa relations, aimed at ‘substantially increasing’ trade and investment.


There’s been little sign of said revamp this week, which has focused on security, climate, and Covid. The press statement for Blinken’s trip didn’t even mention trade, or investment.


Some of this could be blamed on the distracting effect of upheaval from recent crises in Sudan and Ethiopia, but the apparent lack of interest is nothing new.


Washington has long been criticized for being slow to recognize Africa’s investment potential - for good reason. The most notable piece of legislation aimed at boosting trade is the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), from 2001.


Biden isn’t the first to promise a revamp. Obama’s ‘Power Africa’, and Trump’s ‘Prosper Africa’ are part of a number of initiatives launched in recent years, supposedly aimed at promoting trade and investment.

The African Development Bank Group and the Agence Française de Développement on Wednesday signed a co-financing and partnership agreement to strengthen their relationship and leverage additional resources for impactful projects in Africa.

African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina and Agence Française de Développement CEO Rémy Rioux signed the agreement in Paris on behalf of their two institutions.

The agreement, which runs for five years, from 2021 to 2026, targets an indicative amount (€2 billion) in co-financing over its first three years. It will complement the current partnership between both institutions through mutual understanding, by facilitating staff exchanges, sharing knowledge, and jointly organizing events. The existing partnership already covers such key sectors as infrastructure, water and sanitation, agriculture, and the private sector. The new agreement supersedes an earlier framework agreement signed in November 2015.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $150 million facility to ETC Group Limited to address the company’s working capital requirements and support its food production expansion plans across 10 countries in Africa, in a boost for smallholder farmers.

The investment will take the form of a trade and agri-finance package comprising a $75 million soft commodity finance facility to support the group’s pre and post shipment working capital requirements, with a particular focus on export-oriented activities. It also includes a $75 million agriculture value-chain program to increase agriculture production and productivity, by providing improved agricultural inputs and agronomic advisory services to local farmers.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group on Friday approved a grant of $40 million from the African Development Fund to the Republic of Ghana to further capitalise The Development Bank Ghana (DBG), a newly established development finance institution in Ghana.

The Development Bank Ghana is designed to provide financing to micro, small and medium sized enterprises as well as small corporates in agribusiness, manufacturing and information and communication technology (ICT).

Ghana is pursuing an economic transformation agenda that requires the availability of affordable capital for medium and long-term investment by the private sector. However, there are constraints to private sector development, particularly for MSMEs, which account for the majority of businesses in the country, due to the lack of access to medium and long-term credit.

Sudan on Thursday unveiled a new governing council, with General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan - the leader of a military coup on October 25 that dissolved a power sharing arrangement between the military and civilian politicians - appointing himself as chairman.

The council, which excludes the main body pushing for civilian rule, consolidates the military’s control over Sudan’s fraught transition following the ousting of longtime ruler dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019. Already bogged down before October 25th’s military takeover, the country’s political process is facing an uncertain future.

The same is true for Sudan’s economy, which is at risk of being side-lined amid the current turmoil.

Wealthy countries must ‘do more’ to help Africa cope with the impact of climate change. This was the message from the continent’s representatives during this week’s COP26 gathering in
Glasgow, Scotland.
The focal point is money.
Africa currently receives just 5% of global climate financing, and a 2009 pledge by rich countries to give developing economies $100bn annually by 2020 to fund adaptation and mitigation efforts has been pushed back until at least 2023.
Not only must this be honoured according to leaders from the continent, but According to the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN), the $100bn figure needs to hit $1.3tr
annually by 2025 to make meaningful progress.

African Development Bank Group President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, said on Friday that the Bank will integrate the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) into its country and regional integration strategies.

Receiving AfCTA Secretary-General Wamkele Mene, in Abidjan on 29 October, Adesina said “the implementation of the free trade area will become a key component of the Bank’s lending program. We want to have a critical mass of AfCFTA-aligned investments.”

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors has officially approved a $75 million commercial loan to the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF).

The African Development Bank’s loan will enable the Ghanaian state-owned GIIF to efficiently leverage its paid-in equity capital of $325 million to secure additional debt resources to finance several critical Ghanaian infrastructure projects and reduce the country’s estimated multi-billion dollar infrastructure finance deficit.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved an equity investment of $10 million in the ARCH Cold Chain Solutions East Africa Fund (CCSEAF) to support the development, construction and operation of greenfield cold storage, temperature-controlled solutions and distribution facilities in East Africa.

The investment will advance the Fund toward its targeted final close of $100 million by the second quarter of 2022. The Fund’s first close of $30 million occurred in November 2019.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $57.67 million loan to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, South Africa’s public electricity utility—and Africa’s largest— to harness battery storage technology that will increase electricity generation from reliable and efficient renewable energy sources.

The Bank’s financing, a concessional loan, will come from the Clean Technology Fund, a multi-donor trust fund under the Climate Investment Funds. The pioneering Battery Energy Storage Systems Project is being co-financed with the World Bank and the New Development Bank.