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15 December 20222 minute read

The adapting role of DFIs in Africa – We can meet Africa's developmental goals

Invest Africa hosted a panel discussion looking at the adapting role of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in Africa at our Johannesburg office on 24 November. The discussion was moderated by our own Pride Jani (Director, Finance, Projects and Restructuring) and featured insightful commentary from Anne Keppler of DEG, Steven Gardon of PROPARCO, Diana Njuguna of DFC, and Mohan Vivekanandan of DBSA.

Key themes that were tackled include early-stage finance, the attitude of DFIs towards equity vs. debt financing, and the meaning of just energy transition and its implications considering the disparate considerations of developed and developing nations.

Despite noting the unique socio-economic development, regulatory and other challenges that countries and DFIs face individually and collectively, the panellists provided key insights into how best interested parties could take advantage of funding and equity partnership opportunities on offer from DFIs. Equally important was the opposite – how DFIs also regularly test their varying approaches for viability in individual territories. This is especially considering the vast resources that DFIs have provisioned for developmental efforts with public and private entities across the continent.

Though the panellists noted a few differences in their respective approaches, they were unanimous in their unwavering commitment to collectively support the growth of the social and economic pillars that are key to the continent’s development.

Pride noted, “moderating this discussion was an excellent opportunity to showcase much of the challenges we encounter alongside public and private entities on the ground in respect of debt and equity financing for all manner of projects. The urgent, responsible and sustainable development we seek in Africa is without a doubt attainable, and DFIs are crucial to that outcome considering their resources, mandates and existing frameworks. I think there are many entities and initiatives that could benefit from our discussion, especially in finding the means to take advantage of opportunities DFIs present where local or other lenders are unable to assist.”

We thank our partners in the event, Invest Africa, for choosing us to help shed light on this critical topic.