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Building an African powerhouse

A day in the life of an eye doctor

Backed by a large workforce and a growing, connected urban middle class, there are huge opportunities across African economies – in particular in sectors such as agriculture, fast-moving consumer goods and infrastructure.

To realise these opportunities, it is advised any measures that can be taken to reduce the volatility of growth – and in particular the volatility of employment – are put in place, as well as more investment, and more consistency of capital inflows, especially counter-cyclical flows.

We leverage on our sovereign finance expertise to advise African governments on their financing requirements and capabilities, and engage with the international investor community to raise funds in the appropriate currency.

We have recently been mandated Joint Lead Arranger and Bookrunner for the Republic of Ghana’s $1 billion sovereign bond issue to refinance short-dated, high-interest domestic debt in line with its debt management strategy. This transaction represents the first bond issue guaranteed by the World Bank since 2001, and is a clear demonstration of the strong, broad-based multilateral support available to Ghana.

An increasing number of African economies are accessing development capital via sovereign bonds: in the past three years alone, 12 Sub-Saharan African governments accessed the eurobond market and raised over $17 billion. Aside from Ghana, we have also supported the successful issue of sovereign bonds in Senegal, Gabon and Zambia.

As these economies transition into middle-income status, sovereign bonds help them consolidate and build upon their international capital market experience through innovative structures. This will support them in deepening their capital market and realising their investment potential, and will ultimately drive economic growth and prosperity for the local population.

We also continue to help bolster investment in power generation across Sub-Saharan Africa through our Power Africa commitment. We provide advisory, financing, debt structuring services and policy framework development. Our efforts from 2013 to 2015 are expected to culminate in over 3.4 gigawatts of generation capacity in Africa.