By Debbie Moraa
The European Investment Bank (EIB) today published a unique analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on financing across Africa.
The Finance in Africa 2021 report surveyed 78 leading banks and financing institutions active across sub-Saharan Africa to examine the impact of the pandemic on banking and business lending, investigate how Africa’s financial sector is harnessing the digital revolution and detail the challenges and opportunities of green finance for banks.
Speaking during the online event, Thomas Östros, European Investment Bank Vice President noted that Africa’s banks are crucial for ensuring access to finance which is essential for private sector growth and climate action. They also understand the unprecedented challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting transformational private and public investment across Africa in close cooperation with financial sector partners. The feedback from 78 leading African institutions contained in the Finance in Africa 2021 report is invaluable. It shows both the resilience of Africa’s financial sector and enthusiastic engagement to embrace digitalization. At the same time, the report indicates future risks that could hinder financing for business growth, renewable energy and recovery from the pandemic. I look forward to discussing how the EIB can further strengthen cooperation with African banking partners in Kigali and Nairobi next week,”said Mr.Thomas
The Finance in Africa 2021 report, written with the support of Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A), is the sixth study of Africa’s financial sector by the European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank, owned by the 27 European Union member states. The new report explores how access to finance provided by banks, microfinance and private equity sectors have been affected and what long-term trends may impact private sector investment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has already prompted major changes in how business is conducted, and has accelerated digitalisation trends that were already under way before the crisis but that were slower in adoption. This has unlocked new opportunities for African financial institutions to innovate and drive financial inclusion. African banks can also play an important role in society’s adjustment to climate change and contribute to its mitigation, for example by including environmental risks in their credit and investment process, or by incentivising clients for green investments. With this unique report, we aim to capture how the African financial sector has rapidly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to continuing challenges and highlight exciting opportunities for climate finance and digitization.” said Abdelkader Benbrahim, Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A) Coordinator.