The World Bank Group president, Mr Jim Kim, said the bank would be investing 57 billion dollars to accelerate growth and development in Sub-Saharan African countries over the next three years.
In a statement released to journalists by the Senior Communications Officer, World Bank Nigeria, Mrs Olufunke Olufon, in Abuja, Kim said the money would be raised by three subsidiaries of the group.
According to Kim, the funding will run from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.
“The bulk of the financing, 45 billion dollars will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.
“The financing for sub-Saharan Africa will also include an estimated eight billion dollars in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the bank group.
“Four billion dollars in financing, will come from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, its non-concessional public sector arm,” he said.
Kim said the move presented an opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region, including Nigeria.
“With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programmes in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure and institutional reform.
“The IDA financing for operations in Africa will be critical to addressing roadblocks that prevent the region from reaching its potential.
“To support countries’ development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility, and violence; building resilience to crises including forced displacement, climate change, and pandemics; and reducing gender inequality.
“Efforts will also promote governance and institution building, as well as jobs and economic transformation,” he said.
Kim said much of the estimated 45 billion dollars from the IDA would be dedicated to country-specific programmes.
He explained that significant amount would be available to finance regional initiatives, support refugees and their host communities, and help countries in the aftermath of crises.
He said this would be complemented by a newly established Private Sector Window (PSW) for Africa, because many sound investments go untapped due to lack of capital and perceived risks.
He said the PSW would supplement existing instruments of the IFC and the group’s arm that offered political risk insurance and credit enhancement to spur sound investments through de-risking, blended finance and local currency lending.
“This World Bank Group financing will support transformational projects during the 2018 to 2020 financial period,” Kim said.