Posts tagged as: finance

Nigeria:50 Patients Abandoned in Ogun Psychiatric Hospital, Says Provost

By Charles Coffie Gyamfi

Abeokuta — The Provost/Medical Director, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Dr. Timothy Adebowale, says 50 indigent patients have been abandoned by their families.

Addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions which visited the facility as part of its oversight functions at the weekend in Abeokuta, Adebowale said the hospital management had taken over the responsibility of feeding and medication of the affected patients.

He told his visitors that the hospital, which was established in 1954, urgently needs renovation, as most of its structures were too old to serve their purpose.

His words: “In our facility here, we also operate community health, people come for ante-natal. Some of our clients are poor and vulnerable. Many of them, immediately they make the first payment for their treatment, they do not pay anymore. But we need money to survive.”

“Some of them are abandoned by their relatives, and we are responsible for their feeding and medication through our lean resources. Presently, there are 50 of such cases in this hospital.”

The medical director said the facility also suffers from stigmatisation, perhaps from the name ‘Aro’, which people had derisively twisted to mean someone with mental problem.

He continued: “Philanthropists do not want to associate with us, they do not want to be seen here, lest people begin to think they had come for psychiatric medical attention or visit a relation who has such a challenge.”

The challenges notwithstanding, he said the centre remains focused on treating, training and researching on mental health.

Adebowale disclosed that about 500 people in local communities access mental health treatment, appealing to the lawmakers to ensure they get the necessary funding to engender quality service delivery.

He also pleaded with them to ensure that their ‘outsource service fund’ and overhead cost which were already in arrears from 2016 were paid promptly.

Betty Apiafi, who responded on behalf of her colleagues, promised to intervene in getting more funds for federal-owned medical facilities, most especially teaching hospitals nationwide.

The lawmakers also visited the Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba, Abeokuta, where the Medical Director, Prof. Adewale Musa, led them on inspection of project sites within the premises.

She told newsmen that some of the health institutions in Lagos and Ogun states were seriously contending with inadequate funding and incessant strikes.

Apiafi said following the amendment on the TEtfund bill, which she said had passed through third reading in the House, federal health institutions too would begin to benefit from the purse immediately it gets presidential assent.

To address the issue of outsource service fund, the committee promised to approach the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to ensure the money was released to the health institutions.

To Achieve Prosperity, Public and Private Sectors Must Come Together – Kagame

By Collins Mwai

President Paul Kagame has said that there was no doubt that funds to invest in development among governments were increasingly scarce but there is a way out by working closely with the private sector.

Kagame was speaking at a session on maximizing finance for development at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC.

He added that the private and public sector can need each other to achieve prosperity.

“The prosperity that we are looking for in all countries cannot come from public or private separately. There has to be coming together where the public side might do what they are capable of doing and the private coming in to do the best they can and when we are together we are able to maximize on finance for development,” he said.

Citing Rwanda’s experience in mobilizing funds for development, he said that in post-genocide Rwanda, both sectors had significantly low capacities with the private sector being lower.

This meant that government had to find ways to fill gaps and to bring in capacity by working with multi-lateral institutions such as the World Bank group.

Among the lessons that the country has drawn from the process is the need to create predictability by putting in place a conducive environment through aspects such as regulatory environment.

“Lessons that we have drawn from all this is that markets left on their own will not solve our problems. In fact we can do things in partnership with government doing as much as we can to deal with some of the failures that are present in the market place… … The regulatory has had to be created so that there is predictability in the process of doing business. We have benefited from the World Bank to create an environment where it is easy to do business in our country,” Kagame added.

This also involved working to change perceptions by some investors about the country as well as turning some of the shortcomings such as the size of the market into advantages.

This led to government with the support of multi-lateral partners to work at ensuring that the investment environment and conditions were attractive.

“There are difficulties, for example investors out there who want to put their money wherever they want to put it will look at a situation like ours, as a small market. They would rather go to the markets they think they will invest in and get their returns. On our side, we have to prepare the ground and convince people that beyond being a small market, this is a country and people that are worth paying attention to and in our case we work round the clock to make sure that the perception does not become a reality,” he said.

Some of the direct actions taken include easing the business registration processes through the Rwanda Development Board, easing tax declaration and remuneration process and providing post investment services to address investors’ concerns.

The most recent release of the World Bank Doing business report ranked Rwanda 2nd in Africa after Mauritius and first in the EAC region.

The annual report focuses on ten main areas that affect business namely, the ease of starting a business, obtaining construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

The Global Competitiveness report 2017/18, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Rwanda second in Africa with the authors’ noting that it was largely due to efficient markets and a stable political position.

In other instances, Kagame said that the government has invested jointly with the private sector to provide goods and services which has eventually made the sectors vibrant and attracted competition.

Among the sectors that have had such intervention is the local telecom and hospitality sectors.

To remain relevant and attractive to investors, Kagame explained that the country has had to have a zero tolerance on corruption policy to ensure that gains over the years are not threatened.

“Corruption does a lot of damage to almost everything we want to achieve in our countries for our people. Rwanda’s uniqueness is that it is a small economy constrained in many ways, there are certain things that we cannot afford to do or deal with,” he explained.

“If we allowed corruption to thrive in our country investors may go to a bigger economy with bigger corruption and we lose out. So we had to create that uniqueness for ourselves to make ourselves attractive so investors choose,” Kagame added.

Kagame was speaking alongside finance and business experts including; World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Renu Sud Karnad Managing Director, of India’s Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and Bill Winters Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered.

South Africa:Minister Gigaba Tables Section 16 Notice Regarding SAA Bailout

press releaseBy Alf Lees MP

The DA notes that the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, has met the obligation to report to Parliament on the R3 billion bailout National Treasury granted to South African Airways (SAA) – as required by Section 16 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Minister Gigaba’s report raises some serious questions, which require urgent clarification before the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement is delivered in Parliament.

What exactly is the amount that will constitute the “required equity” that Minister Gigaba refers to in his report? Is it the R 5.2 billion already paid to SAA or the R10 billion that Minister Gigaba and National Treasury have recently said would be required in the 2017/18 financial year?

Another concern to the DA is that the Minister in his report to Parliament, confirmed that banks and other lenders have agreed that they would extend the 31 October 2017 deadline for the repayment of the R5 billion owed to 31 March 2019, on the condition that “the required equity injection into SAA [be] tabled during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement and approved by parliament”.

It is not practically nor legally possible for Parliament to approve an Appropriation Bill by the 31st of October. It seems that Minister Gigaba assured banks and other domestic lenders that Parliament will approve an equity injection at some date after the 31st of October 2017.

If this is the case it would be a very serious indictment and would simply reinforce the existing perceptions amongst South Africans that Parliament is just a rubber stamp for any and all decisions made by President Zuma and his cabinet.

Further concerns from the report include:

Parliament’s approval of “the required equity injection” is not the only condition made by the lenders. The question is, therefore, what are the other conditions?

Where will the R5 billion come from to pay lenders on 31 of March 2019?

If the payments to SAA are going to be “budget neutral” what are the assets that are going to be sold off? Considering that Telkom withdrew the cautionary issued on the trading of its shares.

It is clear that Minister Gigaba, like an aircraft awaiting permission to land, is in a holding pattern of buying time for SAA to temporarily continue flying. The losses, by Gigaba’s own admission, will continue to mount up and will require further cash bailouts within the next two months in order to avoid the liquidation of SAA.

Quite clearly, even with the latest bailout of R3 billion SAA is still not a Going Concern. And will not be able to cover the losses in October let alone for the last four months of the current financial year. Once again the tabling of SAA’s annual report and its Annual General Meeting will be delayed. Allowing Dudu Myeni to remain in control and evade her much needed exit from the SAA board.

The DA remains convinced that the only logical action for the Minister to take is to put SAA into business rescue in order to stabilise it and then to sell the airline to the highest bidder. It is immoral to expect poor South Africans to be deprived of basic services in order to fund the losses of SAA, a mismanaged state-owned airline.

Alf Lees MP

DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance

South Africa

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Nigeria:National Committee On Export Promotion Meets, Targets Cocoa, Sesame Seeds

By Olawale Ajimotokan and Cynthia Offor

Abuja — The federal government’s effort at diversifying the economy took a giant leap after the National Committee on Export Promotion Council (NCEP) at its inaugural meeting, identified mainly six potential commodity products as alternative to oil.

The 13-man NCEP was instituted last week by the National Economic Council (NEC) Chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on export promotion.

It has a Zero Oil Plan (ZOP) initiative to replace oil as the major source of foreign exchange earner by growing non-oil exports from the present $5 billion approximately to $30 billion by 2025.

It is expected to submit an interim report to government by November 16

The Governor of Jigawa State, who is the Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said after its first meeting that it had identified cocoa, arabic gum, sesame seeds, hides and skin, cashews, apricot and banana.

He said that NCEP had identified potential export market for the sesame seeds in Japan, Turkey and China.

He also stressed that Jigawa State was already collaborating with Walcott Group of Companies on the production of Sesame Seeds.

“We discussed very well and have hope that eventually we will develop products and solid minerals that will have very high export value. Exportation is a very big chain and we are committed to providing solution for the Nigerian export,” Abubakar said.

He said NCEP would review the entire value chain process, including quality control, market, logistics and sales to ensure that the produce find buyers when eventually exported.

Under ZOP, the committee is to further add an extra $150 billion minimum to Nigeria’s foreign reserves cumulatively from non-oil exports over the next 10 years, create at least 500,000 additional jobs annually as well as lift 10 million Nigerians out of poverty.

The Minister of Agriculture and rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who is also a member of the committee, attributed the recent rejection of some Nigerian yam export in the United States to mistakes by exporter.

He said the container was in Nigeria for two months, before it left the country’s shores in a very hot environment.

He added that Ghanaian yam exports were also affected, adding that exporters should not warehouse perishable goods in bad conditions before shipping.

The members of NCEP include Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Ogbeh, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Power, Works and Housing and counterparts from Finance, Mines and Steel Development.

Others are CEO of Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Olusegun Awolowo, DG of NEPZA, Emmanuel Jime, MD of NEXIM, Mr Abba Bello and Permanent Secretary of MBNP, Leon Aliboh.

Nigeria:The Shame of Federal Roads… (II)

editorial

The nation’s highways need more attention

At an elaborate ceremony last week, the federal government announced the release of N100 billion Sukuk bonds to pay some contractors to facilitate the construction and rehabilitation of 25 priority road projects across the six geopolitical zones in the country. “The roads will ease commuting, spur economic activities across the country and further close our infrastructural gap,” said the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun after presenting the cheque to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.

While we consider the development an important one, we must nonetheless say that the money involved is still a far cry from the huge investment that needs to be made if we must revamp the decaying road infrastructure in Nigeria. From the north-east and north-west to the south-south, south-east and south-west to north-central, the story is the same: most of the roads have become death traps. As things stand today, trips that ordinarily should take no more than a few minutes now take hours and at times days because of the conditions of most of the major access roads.

Meanwhile, in unveiling his plan for federal roads in December 2015, Fashola had promised that the federal government would re-introduce highway tolling to raise additional funds to finance road infrastructure and ensure efficient road maintenance. Tolling, according to Fashola, was necessary to support government funding. “So, it will not be too much if we ask every road user to pay little to augment government funding for road maintenance. It is eminent commonsense for us to find that money. We will use technology; so if we don’t pay cash, you will pay by tokens or tickets and the money is accountable and it will go to the right place”, said Fashola who added that the nation’s road infrastructure would also generate job opportunities and reduce unemployment in the country.

Against the background that a drive through many of the nation’s major roads is now a nightmare, we had wholeheartedly endorsed the Fashola plan at the time. But almost two years after the plan was unfolded, Nigerians are still waiting for any concrete action in that direction. Some roads in the south-south, south-east and south-west are particularly in a sorry shape apparently because of the impact and damage the rains had on them. Most affected roads in the south-east include the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Bende-Ohafia-Arochukwu road, Aba-Ikot Ekpene-Calabar road, Enugu-Awka-Onitsha road and Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road.

Even in Lagos, the roads leading to Apapa, the strategic port city where hundreds of millions of naira are made daily by the government and others, are embarrassing. Over the years, billions of naira had been poured on the Oshodi-Apapa road but it is still in a shambles, crater-ridden and looking more like a war-ravaged area. Even the road to the international airport in the nation’s commercial capital is an eyesore, even though it was recently handed over to the Lagos State Government.

Last week, Fashola called on investors to “invest in infrastructure that the public will use” so as to benefit from some tax relief under an arrangement that is still not very clear. Are businessmen now to adopt just any roads and build by their own specifications? What is the role of the Infrastructure Concession Commission in the arrangement?

In as much as we concede the fact that we need bold initiatives if we are to fix our major highways, ad hoc arrangements will not do, given the enormity of the challenge in the sector. We therefore call on the federal government to put in motion a comprehensive plan by which we can rebuild the critical road infrastructure in Nigeria.

Nigeria

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Tanzania:Swedish Firm Moves Sh253bn Malindi Power Plan to Tanzania

Photo: Pixabay

(file photo).

By NMG

Nairobi — A Swedish firm that wanted to construct Africa’s largest wind power plant in Malindi at a cost of Sh253 billion has relocated the investment to Tanzania, citing frustration by Kenyan authorities.

VR Holding AB had last year expressed interest in building a 600-megawatt (MW) wind farm in the Indian Ocean waters bordering Ras Ngomeni in Malindi, but Ministry of Energy officials turned down the request citing lack of a framework for renewable energy projects of that scale besides low demand for electricity in the country.

The firm’s executives said they have now switched their focus to Tanzania, which shares the Indian Ocean coastline.

“We have opted to look at offshore solutions for Tanzania,” Victoria Rikede, an executive at the company said.

“Kenya is proving to be a very difficult place and besides the grid is too weak to absorb all the power produced and therefore mini-grids is the solution for now,” she added.

Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, has recently been losing mega investments to Tanzania, including a crude pipeline deal with Uganda.

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Tuesday, Ministry of Energy officials reckoned that a huge power plant would leave the country with excess power that will only force consumers to pay billions of shillings annually for electricity not used.This would dim the government’s quest to deliver cheaper power through renewable sources.Documents seen by the Business Daily show that Kenyan authorities, upon receiving the application, had directed the Swedish company to construct a smaller capacity project. “The company was to give us a proposal for a smaller capacity plant of 50 megawatts. They are yet to do so,” said Isaac Kiva, the director of renewable energy at the ministry.The Malindi offshore location was identified by the World Bank, according to the Swedish firm’s executives.They put the cost of generating electricity from the offshore wind farm at €3.5 million (Sh423 million) per megawatt.This means the 600 megawatt offshore wind park would cost a total of Sh253.8 billion, in what would be the single most expensive private-funded project in East Africa.Ms Rikede, however, did not wish to disclose the consortium behind the inconclusive venture. In rejecting the mega power plant, the ministry vouched for a phased implementation that brings power on stream gradually, in tandem with growth in demand.”Wind is an intermittent power source and, therefore, we cannot approve such a big plant in one location since it will come with huge costs tied to power supply reliability and transmission,” Mr Kiva had said earlier.Kenya’s renewable energy framework provides only for small and medium-sized projects under the feed-in-tariff (FiT) system, which fixes electricity prices for wind and solar projects of up to a capacity of 50 megawatts.The only project outside this limited framework is the 310-megawatt Lake Turkana Wind Power in northern Kenya, which was built at a cost of Sh70 billion. But despite being completed the electricity is not used due to lack of a transmission line, subjecting consumers to a Sh5.7 billion fine.A similar capacity offshore wind farm would have cost Sh131 billion, or Sh61 billion more based on the €3.5 million per MW cost, making the offshore technology more expensive than on land.Offshore wind farms are deemed more reliable than those built on land since breezes in the ocean can produce steadier power. Kenya has an installed power capacity of 2,330 megawatts but its peak demand is about 1,699 megawatts, leaving a reserve capacity of 631 megawatts.

Burundi: U.S.$25 Million Ifad Grant to Boost Burundi Financial Access

By Victor Kiprop

Burundi has signed a deal with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that will see vulnerable groups including women and youth access financial services.

The project, dubbed Financial Inclusion in Burundi (PAIFAIR-B), will cost $28.6 million and targets more than 99,000 households in rural areas.

IFAD will provide $24.9 million in form of a grant, while Bujumbura and the beneficiaries will contribute the remaining amount.

The deal was signed in Rome recently by IFAD’s president Gilbert F Houngbo and Burundi’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatisation Phil Domitien Ndihokubwayo.

The PAIFAIR-B deal adds to the list of IFAD-funded rural development programmes in Burundi, where the United Nations agency has invested more than $230 million since 1979.

“The project will be rolled out in 17 provinces, and is designed to provide access to financial and other diversified services in order to foster the emergence of a wide range of income-generating enterprises in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors,” IFAD said.

The demand for financial services in Burundi exceeds the supply, with the majority of agricultural entrepreneurs forced to turn to “loan sharks” who charge exorbitant interest rates of up to 1,000 per cent.

A 2014 report by the global partnership for Financial Inclusion notes that only 12.5 per cent of the country’s adult population have an account in a formal financial institution.

The study blamed the low financial inclusion in the country on lower incomes and financial education and barriers such as lack of motorised transport outside the city of Bujumbura.

Decades of civil wars coupled with a fragile political process and recurrent climatic shocks have slowed economic activity in Burundi, consistently keeping economic growth in the country at below five per cent between 2006 and 2016.

More than 400,000 people had fled the country as at mid-September, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while at least three million Burundians — nearly a quarter of the country’s population — were in need of humanitarian assistance as at January this year.

Burundi

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Zimbabwe: AfDB to Complete Finance Systems Project By Year End

By Tinashe Makichi and Africa Moyo

The African Development Bank targets to complete its $24 million Public Finance Management systems project by the end of the year. The bank also committed some additional funds towards developmental projects, which are consistent with Government’s priorities enshrined in its Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Programme Manager Naome Chimbetete told The Herald Business that the Public Finance Management project was at its tail end.

“We are now doing final touch ups of the project and I am confident to say most Government institutions have managed to benefit from this funding including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. There have been a lot of developments around financial management systems from the grant availed by the AfDB. We expect the project to complete by end of year,” said Ms Chimbetete. This comes as begun the process of aligning the Public Finance Management Act with the constitution to ensure that it is seamlessly implemented. Accountant-General Mr Daniel Muchemwa recently said in the process of aligning the Act with the constitution, Government will also make some other changes that might be deemed necessary to make the law water-tight.

“We are currently in the process of aligning the Public Finance Management Act with the constitution. We have worked out the principles of alignment but we decided to take advantage of that alignment to identify any other changes that we need to put in place now,” said Mr Muchemwa. The Public Finance and Management Act, which makes major amendments to the Act of 2009, was gazetted and came into effect on October 28 last year. The Act regulates the management of finances in national and provincial government and sets out procedures for efficient and effective management of all revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

Chief among the amendments to the Act relate to the interaction between responsible ministries in central Government and its parastatals. State Enterprises and Parastatals (SEPs), which are largely loss making entities at the moment, are required by the Act to prepare and submit quarterly financial statements to Treasury. Currently, some SEPs last released financial statements in 2012, yet they continue to pay excessive salaries to executives and board fees. Section 51A of the Act specifies the roles of appropriate ministries and public entities, with Subsection (iv), prohibits SEP bosses from accepting or receiving “any monetary or other benefit inconsistent with the discharge of the appropriate Ministry’s supervisory or regulatory role, including (but not limited to) any payment or benefit in the way of or in the guise of – (a) management committee allowances; or (b) trustee or trustee representative allowances; or (c) travel allowances, fuel coupons or holiday allowances . . .”

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe:AfDB to Complete Finance Systems Project By Year End

By Tinashe Makichi and Africa Moyo

The African Development Bank targets to complete its $24 million Public Finance Management systems project by the end of the year. The bank also committed some additional funds towards developmental projects, which are consistent with Government’s priorities enshrined in its Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Programme Manager Naome Chimbetete told The Herald Business that the Public Finance Management project was at its tail end.

“We are now doing final touch ups of the project and I am confident to say most Government institutions have managed to benefit from this funding including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. There have been a lot of developments around financial management systems from the grant availed by the AfDB. We expect the project to complete by end of year,” said Ms Chimbetete. This comes as begun the process of aligning the Public Finance Management Act with the constitution to ensure that it is seamlessly implemented. Accountant-General Mr Daniel Muchemwa recently said in the process of aligning the Act with the constitution, Government will also make some other changes that might be deemed necessary to make the law water-tight.

“We are currently in the process of aligning the Public Finance Management Act with the constitution. We have worked out the principles of alignment but we decided to take advantage of that alignment to identify any other changes that we need to put in place now,” said Mr Muchemwa. The Public Finance and Management Act, which makes major amendments to the Act of 2009, was gazetted and came into effect on October 28 last year. The Act regulates the management of finances in national and provincial government and sets out procedures for efficient and effective management of all revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

Chief among the amendments to the Act relate to the interaction between responsible ministries in central Government and its parastatals. State Enterprises and Parastatals (SEPs), which are largely loss making entities at the moment, are required by the Act to prepare and submit quarterly financial statements to Treasury. Currently, some SEPs last released financial statements in 2012, yet they continue to pay excessive salaries to executives and board fees. Section 51A of the Act specifies the roles of appropriate ministries and public entities, with Subsection (iv), prohibits SEP bosses from accepting or receiving “any monetary or other benefit inconsistent with the discharge of the appropriate Ministry’s supervisory or regulatory role, including (but not limited to) any payment or benefit in the way of or in the guise of – (a) management committee allowances; or (b) trustee or trustee representative allowances; or (c) travel allowances, fuel coupons or holiday allowances . . .”

Zimbabwe

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Africa: An Innovative Approach to Expanding Access to Healthcare in Africa

Photo: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Cataract surgery being performed in Cameroon

columnBy Dia Martin

Of all the many intractable health problems in Africa, blindness is one that should be relatively easy to address. As in more developed countries, blindness in Africa is often caused by cataracts, which can be removed in a simple, inexpensive surgery. But too many people go without this quick, sight saving surgery. Blindness is twice as common in Africa as it is worldwide and 80% of the cases of blindness in Africa are treatable

While donor organizations and investors often support projects to expand access to healthcare in Africa, sustainable and scalable solutions to public health challenges like widespread blindness require more than just money. First, these projects need to be structured in a way that will ensure they reach the people most in need of support. There should also be some sort of accountability mechanism to track progress against goals set at the outset – including both financial and social targets.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) recently committed a $2 million loan to the Africa Eye Foundation to support a hospital in Cameroon that aims to prevent blindness in as many as 18,000 people. The project’s strong promise is rooted in its innovative structure, which is designed to support accountability and long-term success for the hospital, its patients, as well as investors and donors. OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution and its support for this project in Cameroon builds on a long history of developing and embracing innovative finance tools to help address major world challenges. Some of the innovations in this project include:

• A model that subsidizes poorer patients. The hospital, the Magrabi-ICO Cameroon Eye Institute, uses a cross-subsidization model in which more affluent patients pay more than lower income patients, so that it can serve patients across the economic spectrum. It’s a simple but important model that is particularly important in regions where many people cannot afford this important surgery.

• Strong incentives to meet social impact goals. The project is structured as a Development Impact Loan, a results-based contract in which investors, such as OPIC, provide financing up front and are repaid by donor organizations in amounts that will depend upon the project’s success meeting not just financial goals but also social goals. OPIC is providing most of the upfront financing and its return will depend in part on how many people in Cameroon receive this sight saving surgery. This project has a diverse coalition of donors, or outcome funders, including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Fred Hollows Foundation and Sightsavers, an NGO focused on preventing avoidable blindness. OPIC sees Development Impact Loans and Bonds as a powerful tool to increase private sector investment in support of major development challenges.

• Support for promising young projects. In global development, sometimes the best solutions come from new players. OPIC is supporting this project in Cameroon through its Portfolio for Impact, or PI program, which we designed to finance some of the most promising earlier stage enterprises that show a strong promise for making a significant social impact. Today, OPIC’s PI program supports a diverse group of small, high impact projects in developing countries from a microfinance institution that lends to rural farmers in Africa, to a Colorado company that manufacturers clean cook stoves to replace cooking on open fire that is a major source of pollution. Through the PI program, we’ve established that small projects can have an outsize impact and even small amounts of financing can go a long way to making a positive difference in the world.

Our loan to the Africa Eye Foundation is one example of a relatively small loan having the potential to touch thousands of lives. This latest project to support eye care in Cameroon builds upon the early success of the PI program and represents the first time we’ve supported a Development Impact Loan that provides a financial incentive for making a positive social impact. We’re excited to embrace this new financing structure and look forward to supporting further innovations in development finance.

Dia Martin, Director, Social Enterprise Finance, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation

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