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Cote d’Ivoire Gathers Public and Private Sector Leaders to Spur New Investment

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, May 29, 2017 — The World Bank Group, jointly with the Development Finance Forum, the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, and the African Development Bank, today launched an initiative bringing together public and private sector leaders to develop innovative approaches and build connections to radically scale up private investment in Africa.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Unlocking Private Investment in African Markets initiative, WBG Managing Director and Chief Finance Officer, Joachim Levy , said that “ Aid alone is not enough; a vibrant private sector is also critical to reducing poverty and sustaining inclusive economic growth ”, adding that “ The World Bank Group has been investing in enterprises and mobilizing private investment through IFC since 1956 and MIGA since 1988. As part of the IDA18 record replenishment, a $2.5 billion IDA18 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window was created to mobilize private investment in IDA-only countries, with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected states. ”  
The Abidjan event, one of three taking place in West Africa this week, gathered several participants from across public and private sector segments who shared experiences and explored opportunities to accelerate investment in Africa. The shift in thinking about development finance recognizes that official aid will need to be used strategically to catalyze public and private sector investments and to mobilize additional private investment.    
There is an emerging shift in thinking about development finance that recognizes the need to mobilize additional private capital. The Cote d’Ivoire National Development Plan includes 94 large-scale projects whose estimated cost is $25 billion, creating opportunities to use the Private Sector Window funding to de-risk investments and attract private investment in cases where commercial funding might otherwise not be viable, ” said Hans Peter Lankes, IFC Vice President Economics and Private Sector Development .
The creation of the PSW is based on the recognition that the private sector is central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and IDA18 objectives, while also recognizing the need to help mitigate the uncertainties and unpredictability that impede private sector investment and prevent it from happening at the necessary scale. The PSW is a key pillar of IFC’s new strategic focus, which aims to tackle difficult development challenges by creating markets and mobilizing private investors, and MIGA’s FY18-20 Strategy focusing on IDA.
In the past year, several initiatives have been developed to crowd-in private finance for development and contribute to achieving the ambition of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. In December 2016, the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) completed a record $75 billion replenishment, a pivotal step in the movement to end extreme poverty. IDA has developed a new $2.5 billion Private Sector Window to mobilize private capital and scale-up private sector development in the most challenging environments.
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