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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

World Bank agency to increase financing to Egypt’s private sector over the next three years

The right kind of debt is a good thing, so we’re going to cheer this: More debt is in the works as World Bank agency plans to increase financing to Egypt’s private sector over the next three years. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) expects to expand its financing of private sector projects in Egypt over the next three years, Executive Vice President and CEO Keiko Honda told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr in a meeting yesterday. Keiko did not provide details on the size of the funding packages or types of projects the agency would target. MIGA has already provided projects in the Benban solar power complex with some USD 210 mn in funding and extended oil producer Apache around USD 150 mn to support exploration and production activity, according to an Investment Ministry statement.

Nasr also met with International Finance Corporation MEA Vice President Sérgio Pimenta yesterday on the sidelines of the WBG and IMF’s 2018 African Caucus meetings. Pimenta said the IFC, which has pledged USD 2 bn in funding to Egypt’s private sector until 2019, was interested in extending further support to the renewable energy industry. The commitment that lending institutions such as the IFC have shown to Egypt’s renewable energy projects has helped attract much needed funds into the sector.

IMF / World Bank Africa summit issue “Sharm El Sheikh Declaration”: The end of the African Caucus meetings in Sharm El Sheikh yesterday saw officials from the continent issuing the “Sharm El Sheikh declaration” calling for further lending from the World Bank and IMF to support infrastructure development in Africa. They also agreed to increase cooperation in fields including infrastructure development, agriculture, energy, fintech and mobile payments and exports.

For their part, IMF and World Bank officials promised to extend further credit to the continent, according to a statement from the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry. World Bank Vice President of the World Bank for Africa Hafez Ghanem noted that the WB plans to provide USD 18 bn in new financing to African countries in 2018, according to Al Shorouk.

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