African countries require an annual infusion of USD 1.25 trillion dollars to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). As the continent’s most vital multilateral development bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is a critical catalyst in ensuring that these goals are met. Therefore, in early October Convergence organized a capacity building session with AfDB on alternative and blended finance in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The objective was to discuss approaches to attract more private-sector investment to African countries, leveraging the balance sheet and capacity of the AfDB.
The two-day session brought together approximately 50 AfDB staff and over 20 experts from a myriad of development and private sector finance organizations including – the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Fitch Ratings, the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD), Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), and Citigroup, amongst others.
The capacity building session was delivered over seven core modules that ranged from outlining the current blended and alternative finance landscape to offering practical tutorials on how these transactions are executed. Participants discussed and deliberated on a range of issues and themes including:
- The distinction between alternative finance & blended finance.
- Key components of a blended finance transaction.
- Best practice alternative finance and blended finance transactions.
- The strategic deployment of blended finance solutions to assist multilateral development banks to achieve high-level objectives.
- The contribution of blended finance towards achieving the SDGs.
- The blended finance approaches employed by various government agencies and development finance institutions.
At the end of the two-day session, participants came away with knowledge and insights on how to:
- Develop a strategic approach towards alternative and blended finance.
- Build a framework that can be used to evaluate various blended finance & alternative finance solutions.
- Design, develop and implement blended finance solutions in cooperation with the private, public & philanthropic sector.
This capacity building session with AfDB was the first of a series of highly-tailored sessions that Convergence will be offering to influential organizations, who want to play a larger role in the ever-changing alternative and blended finance landscape. Through these sessions, Convergence aims to bring in sector experts from its own team and from its vast network to support participants in their efforts to arrange and execute higher levels of blended finance transactions. These sessions are part of Convergence’s mission to advance the field of blended finance by educating, connecting and supporting public, private and philanthropic investors.