European DFIs plan for billion-dollar bailout to save jobs in Africa
Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in Europe aim to launch an emergency liquidity facility focusing on African firms hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Investors and researchers say that without this lifeline, much of what the private sector has achieved in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades could be lost.
“We have a window of two to three months to get this done,” says Deepak Malik, Chief Executive at the Cape Town-based bank investor Arise, to Development Today.
Arise is the largest minority investor in banks across Sub-Saharan Africa, holding stakes in the top three banks in 18 countries. Norway’s aid-sponsored investor Norfund has invested almost NOK 1 billion in Arise and is the largest shareholder.
With the complete lock-down in several Sub-Saharan African countries and through most of East Africa, the consequences of the pandemic are dramatic, Malik says. “We have had a hard lock-down for three weeks and it has now been extended to the beginning of May.”
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