By Aminatta Diof (Newsleader West African Bureau Chief, in Abidjan)
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group, on Wednesday, approved the Lusophone Compact Guarantee Program (LCGP or the Compact), with a maximum risk exposure of up to EUR400 million.
The new Compact offers a big boost to business development initiatives for the Bank’s non-sovereign portfolio in its Portuguese-speaking African member countries.
The program is designed for new non-sovereign operations (“NSOs”) in the Lusophone countries of Africa, notably Angola, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe, ( known as the PALOP), and enables the Bank to manage its risk capital over the next five years 2021-2025, while at the same time diversifying and growing its NSO portfolio over the medium to long-term.
The Bank has been active in the development of specialized risk-sharing vehicles, initiatives and programs which can facilitate the use of risk transfer on specific types of Bank portfolios or assets, and this program is expected to increase the number of the private sectors and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in the PALOP as well as trade between stakeholder countries.
“Over the past five years, the Bank has been committed to exploring ways to increase its lending capacity while proactively managing its credit exposures and headroom more efficiently, and mobilizing additional financial resources and investors to the continent’s development,” Bank Vice President for Corporate Services, Mateus Magala, said.
As the anchor member of the Lusophone Compact, the Government of Portugal would act as the guarantor of this program, for exclusive use by the Bank. The LCGP would allow for individual Bank projects to be covered for up to the full maturity of the loan (up to 15 years) and up to a maximum of 85% of the total Bank loan principal amount, in accordance with pre-determined eligibility criteria.
The Guarantee forms a very important pillar of the wider Lusophone Compact aimed at promoting and enhancing the use of financing, risk mitigation and technical assistance instruments, to unlock private sector financing.
The Lusophone Compact initiative is built on a five-year General Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) that was signed by the Bank, the Government of the Republic of Portugal (“GOP” or “Guarantor”) and the PALOP countries to attract and unlock private sector investment and trade-in, and among PALOP nations. The initiative became effective in December 2018. The PALOP remain the least economically integrated within their respective geographical regions and despite their deep shared history, even among themselves.
This new Guarantee Compact is seen as a valuable tool that will serve as an additional instrument to intensify the Bank’s efforts in the financing of critical transformative NSOs in the African Lusophone countries.
The program complements other Bank initiatives to support member countries to strengthen their investment climates, increase investments and to facilitate pipeline development.
“Given the adverse impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the African continent and the need to build resilience as fiscal pressures rise, the private sector plays a critical role in the process of economic recovery.
"Initiatives such as the LCGP will play a strategic role in equipping the Bank through a programmatic guarantee to avail headroom to contribute to boosting economic resurgence in these countries,” Samuel Mugoya, Bank Director, Syndication, Co-financing and Client Solutions, noted.
The African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. NNL.