A critical evaluation of the Boost Africa Initiative and its development impact on entrepreneurship in Africa
This paper takes a closer look at the Boost Africa Initiative, a joint project by the AfDB and the EIB, that wants to boost entrepreneurship in Africa through a three-pillared blended finance approach. The involvement of the private sector has become essential in today’s development cooperation and this paper offers a detailed case study of a new initiative. As part of a consulting project for the SECO, we specifically assessed two pillars, the Boost Africa Investment Programme and the complementary Technical Assistance Pool. This was done by conducting several expert interviews and drawing on the experience made by similar initiatives. Although the idea is promising, several critical points need to be addressed. The wide geographic scope of the BAI will have a negative effect on the development impact while the return promised for investors is not attractive enough. The governance of the Technical Assistance facility needs to be formalized to ensure high-quality for an otherwise vital part of the BAI. We conclude that although there are flaws to the BAI, the overall approach aligns with SECO’s interests and is thus worthwhile for it to consider contributing financially and to provide expertise to the Technical Assistance facility of the Boost Africa Initiative.
Boost Africa Initiative TEASER
Unfortunately the full study is not yet published for confidentiality issues – we hope to publish it in the coming weeks.