The private investment sector in South Africa is set to receive a $2.8 billion boost from the African Development Bank over the next five years. This was announced by the President of the bank, Akinwunmi Adesina who was speaking at the South African Investment Conference on Thursday.
The financial support from AfDB will be directed towards youth employment, health and vaccine manufacturing, agriculture, transport and renewable energy. Speaking at the conference, Adesina emphasized his organization’s commitment to South Africa, saying “The African Development Bank believes in South Africa. We know that South Africa is bankable. We will now move to support the drive towards renewable energy strongly in South Africa as you drive towards net-zero emissions.”
As South Africa targets recovery from the global pandemic that has decimated large parts of the economy, the AfDB is already providing support to the country’s state-owned companies and is currently getting ready for a $400 million loan to power utility Eskom in order to transition from coal dependence to renewable energy.
At the South African Investment Conference, President Cyril Ramaphosa restated his administration’s desire to lift the country out of its long recession and slow growth and revealed that the country had passed more than 60% of its $100 billion dollar investment target he set in 2018. “You see opportunities in this country. You see beyond the difficulties and the challenges,” he said during a speech to investors. Your investments are making a difference in our country and our local communities,” he said.
He also referenced the knotty Eskom issue and possible solutions. “In December last year, Eskom met its deadline of establishing a separate transmission entity and is set to complete the process of unbundling into separate entities for generation, transmission and distribution by the end of this year. We are moving ahead to facilitate a competitive market for electricity generation, and the establishment of an independent state-owned transmission company.”
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