Interactive November 13, 2018

Africa Transforming: Scaled Up Financing for Scaled Up Ambition

Catalyzing Africa’s Transformation

There are countries across Africa driving ambitious development agendas, including pioneering mobile money, adopting renewable energy on a large scale, and investing in human capital.

Development partners are strongly supporting the World Bank in matching this ambition. The 18th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), our fund for the world’s poorest countries, is the largest in history: targeting $45 billion to 39 IDA-eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

This makes IDA a preeminent provider of development assistance at scale. More importantly, it marks our firm commitment to our client countries and development partners to catalyze transformation and accelerate progress.

We have hit the ground running. In the first year of the IDA18 cycle, we have invested $15.4 billion in new projects and programs across Africa. This is our largest ever single-year commitment of resources and more than 50 percent greater than the annual average during IDA17.

We have injected new IDA financing to help countries like Madagascar raise healthcare and education standards to ensure the very youngest members of society get a good start in life. We are supporting countries across the Sahel in their efforts to curb child marriage and empower girls and women through education and reproductive healthcare. And across the region, we are helping boost the skills and employability of Africa’s youth for in-demand jobs that can fuel economic diversification and the fast-growing digital economy.

Under IDA18, we are providing dedicated support to refugees and their host communities in many countries, including Cameroon and Uganda, and helping other countries scarred by conflict and violence rebuild essential infrastructure and social services to increase productivity and economic opportunities for their citizens.

We are helping countries mitigate and adapt to climate change with increased investments in climate-smart agriculture, coastal erosion, and hydrometeorological services. Indeed, last year our record new commitments generated a 25 percent rate of climate co-benefits, in excess of our target. Examples include the West Africa Coastal Areas program as a globally-significant effort to tackle climate change impacts.

We are also expanding renewable energy markets to address critical energy shortages sustainably. Zambia and the Central African Republic are launching their first-ever large scale solar power plants, and Kenya now has more than half of its energy from climate-friendly sources.

Progress is encouraging, but we must make more and faster. Although Africa’s poverty rate is falling, rapid population growth of 2.6 percent per year has led to an increase in the absolute number of people living in poverty. The region continues to face daunting challenges and demand for IDA resources is stronger than ever. By working upstream and de-risking countries through the Maximizing Finance for Development approach, we are empowering the private sector to invest more in Africa’s development.

This volume presents these and many other activities that IDA18 is supporting— scaling up successful approaches and backing ambitious new ones that hold tremendous promise. It is an exciting moment for Africa and, with continued IDA support, we are making a difference and building a better future for Africa, together.