MCC’s Vice President for Compact Operations Anthony Welcher participated in the Corporate Council on Africa’s (CCA) Africa Finance Forum webinar series – “Blended Finance: Catalyst for Africa’s Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery.” This series convenes U.S. and African financial institutions, government officials, and private sector representatives to discuss how blended finance is evolving on the continent and highlight the improvements needed to bolster its impact and its role as a catalyst for sustainable growth and economic recovery. This panel specifically focused on “Blended Finance: A Strategic Partnership for Growth.”
The COVID-19 pandemic — with its serious health, social and economic consequences — has put greater pressure on the already limited financial resources of African governments. It is expected to contract the continent’s GDP anywhere from 1% to 5% in 2020 and result in Africa’s first recession in 25 years. African financial institutions (including development banks, with around $80 billion in assets), and institutional investors (including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and central banks, with about $1 trillion in assets) have an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the continent’s economic recovery by leveraging blended finance strategies and mechanisms. The panel addressed the following topics:
- What is the role of development capital in leveraging commercial capital?
- How are institutional investors, U.S. and African multilateral institutions, and government agencies evolving to make blended finance more impactful?
- What are the obstacles preventing development agencies and commercial capital from scaling up their investment in blended finance transactions in Africa?
- Case studies of how blended finance supported high impact and transformative projects in sectors with the potential to become commercially viable over time.
- What are the lessons learned and best practices?
- Anthony Welcher, Vice President, Department of Compact Operations, Millennium Challenge Corporation
- Carolyn Campbell, Managing Director, Founding Partner and COO, Emerging Capital Partners (ECP)
- Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist and Director, Research and International Cooperation, African Export-Import Bank
- Chinelo Anohu, Senior Director, Africa Investment Forum