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The World Bank Group’s third Development Finance Forum comes at an opportune time. Trillions of dollars of under-invested capital in the developed world are seeking higher returns but are insufficiently linked to the major demand for capital in the least-developed countries (LDCs). Economic growth is still lagging behind in the LDCs and is expected to remain well below the SDG-target of 7 percent in the near future.

Much closer collaboration between the public and private sector can help release untapped private finance for investment in key growth areas, such as infrastructure, energy and agribusiness. Scarce concessional resources can attract significant levels of private investment to the LDCs, in particular by addressing risk-return concerns and aligning the public and private sectors around shared objectives.

Concerted efforts like these not only have the potential to create jobs and reduce income inequality but can also help release the potential of the LDCs to contribute significantly to sustained global economic growth and enhanced food and energy security. Such efforts are even more important in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS). Helping FCS countries to seize opportunities to grow will reduce the threat that protracted fragility brings to global prosperity and stability.  The main objective of the forum will be to:

  • Bring together stakeholders that can change the risk-return landscape in the least developed countries, both to achieve clarity on the roles each has to play and to explore promising ideas, initiatives and partnerships that need extra impetus to become successful.
  • Contribute to a timely development of a pipeline of projects and programs by offering a pre-investment platform for the public and private sector to explore market-building alliances and opportunities in Africa.

The DFF will be organized around three sectors — infrastructure, with a focus on energy and cities, agribusiness and manufacturing, together with the cross-cutting theme of disruptive technologies. The participatory format serves to identify constraints and opportunities and will feed these into the design of aligned actions by the primary stakeholder groups to unlock private investment.

Follow at #DFFAfrica and #AfricaCan to join the forum and email for more information.

Updates on and @acetforafrica

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