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Lagos to Mombasa

Lagos to Mombasa: How Do We Accelerate EU-Africa Investment?

CGD’s Mikaela Gavas joins Gyude to discuss barriers to private investment in health and infrastructure projects and how a new initiative—an Accelerator Hub—could help local businesses and institutions in Africa develop financially viable proposals and connect them with investors.

An illustrated image of Europe and Africa side-by-side, with a wheel in between representing the Accelerator Hub

An Accelerator Hub to Foster Investments in Africa

Through its European Investment Advisory Hub, the European Union (EU) has built solid experience in project preparation within its own borders by connecting project promoters and intermediaries with advisory partners who work directly together to help projects reach the financing stage. Building on this approach, we propose the establishment of an Accelerator Hub, which would provide targeted support to identify, prepare, and develop investment projects in Africa.

An image showing solar panels and a city skyline in the background.

What Are the Development Outcomes of Development Finance?

What impact do development finance institutions (DFIs) like the IFC have on actual development? Today, George Yang and I release a paper that tries to take a sectoral approach to impact: does an IFC electricity investment lead to more power production per capita in a country, or financing provided to local banks lead to a larger proportion of people with a bank account?

A pile of money, giftwrapped. Adobe Stock.

Development Finance Institutions Should Be Instruments of Public Policy, Not Private Gain

The World Bank Group has some very clear (and very good) guidelines about what makes for a successful public-private partnership where governments contract service provision like energy supply or education from private firms. Sadly, the bank has been ignoring that rule recently. And that is a sign of a broader problem in donor-backed financing of public-private partnership deals.

Philippe Le Houérou at the WEF. Photo by World Economic Forum / Jakob Polacsek

Aid Transparency and Subsidies to Private Companies: A First Step, But a Long Road Ahead

Today the IFC announced a step forward in its transparency around the use of aid resources to finance private companies. That’s right and proper: When scarce aid, and scarce tax resources, are used to support private firms, citizens of donor countries and recipient countries alike have a right to know where the money is going to and how generous the terms. A number of us at CGD had been calling for greater transparency around subsidies to the private sector from the IFC and other development finance institutions, so this is a welcome first step. However, a few aspects have might be cause for concern.

Chart showing IFC project ratings

Is the New Model IFC a Good Deal for IDA Countries?

For much of the last decade, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has delivered a share of its profits as grants to the World Bank Group’s soft lending arm for governments, the International Development Association (IDA). In the last couple of years that pattern has reversed.

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