The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Wednesday approved an equity investment totalling US$ 24 million in the East African Development Bank (EADB) to strengthen its balance sheet and improve its international credit rating.
In a press statement, received here by PANA, AfDB said “In particular, US$ 10 million will be paid in with the balance in the form of callable capital.”
The transaction, mobilizing significant financial resources in the East African Community (EAC), will support capital market development, government revenue generation and foreign exchange ultimately stimulating economic development and employment opportunities in the region.
Established in 1967 under the terms of the Treaty for East African Cooperation, EADB is a sub-regional multilateral lender based in Kampala, Uganda, and operating in the EAC.
Its member states include Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.
EADB’s interventions mainly take the form of loans, leases and equity participation.
According to the statement, the project will help EADB consolidate the gains of its successful restructuring programme and assist the current business strategy of the bank by strengthening its capital base.
This is a crucial condition for mobilizing financial resources from capital markets at more affordable terms and meeting the growing demand for investment in the EAC.
In particular, in addition to providing fresh resources to EADB, the project is expected to contribute to improve the quality of the callable capital of the bank, which is a major factor driving its credit rating. A technical assistance package, financed by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), to reinforce institutional capacity at EADB would complement the proposed equity investment.
By partnering with EADB, AfDB will exploit synergies stemming from complementary sources of comparative advantage. EADB, with its field presence and local knowledge of the EAC market, provides a logical conduit for AfDB to reach out to end-customers, including SMEs, by efficiently leveraging its scale.
From this perspective, the project is aligned with AfDB’s East African Integration Strategy, with its focus on sub-regional development finance institutions, as well as with the key pillars of AfDB’s forthcoming Long-Term Strategy, particularly private sector development and regional integration.