By David Agba
African finance experts agreed yesterday that dependence on foreign investments alone cannot help the continent banish poverty and meet the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Participants and delegates at the ongoing CEO Forum of African Development Finance Institutions, AADFI, in Abuja, examined issues around funding gaps for sustainable development financing and suggested available options open to DFIs.
Specifically, they advocated innovative financing which utilizes a blend of available funds from domestic and external sources. Funding options identified include blended finance, domestic resource mobilization in form of collections from taxes, idle pension funds, diaspora remittances and draw down from external reserves.
Official figures estimated about $ 66 billion personal remittance inflows to Africa, last year, as against $61 billion in foreign direct investment and $44 billion in overseas development assistance for the same period.
AADFI acting chairman, Mr. Dumisani Msibi and the managing director of Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan agreed that the yearly gathering of development finance managers across the continent provided a peer review platform to sharpen the strategies available to DFIs in meeting their mandates.
Msibi rated two Nigerian DFIs high – BOI and the Nigerian Export and Import Bank – for their effectiveness of mobilizing investible funds towards sustainable development.
Rather than wait for foreign direct investments, Msibi tasked finance managers to mobilize local funds to boost small and medium enterprises, create jobs, alleviate poverty and accelerate the growth of agricultural production and general well being of Africans.
Pitan agreed that BOI was conscious of its high rating even as he disclosed that the bank is raising its quantum of investible funds in fulfillment of its mandate.