No takers for US$10 million investment money, AfDB says

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said it has set aside over US$10 million in an investment fund for youth and other development institutions that has not yet been “fully” utilised.

While speaking atthe DEMO Africa conference last week in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Gabriel Negatu, AfDB regional director for the Eastern Africa region, said the bank set aside the fund “yet there are no takers for the funding”.

He said that, although AfDB has been identified with its infrastructure and agricultural projects across Africa, the bank is now focusing on the technology scene, having realised its potential on the continent.

“We are now working with local banks to ensure startups receive the funding through loans in order to succeed, where we provide partial guarantee,” Negatu added, saying that should the borrowers default on the loans, then AfDB will reimburse the money.

However, in order to mitigate this default risk, AfDB is currently training the ‘geeks’ to transform their ideas into sustainable businesses.

“We want to see the developers and innovators grow their ideas into full high-value businesses by refining their business models to fit what other investors are looking for, and make it easier for them to get follow-on funding,” Negatu said.

He furtherurged more innovators in Africa to seek part of the fund to scale up their business ideas.

The AfDB Group was founded in 1964 with its headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The pan-African bank is comprised of 53 African countries as shareholders, and its main mission is to contribute to the sustainable economic development and social progress of African countries.

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