This paper represents the first deep study of African public development banks (PDBs) in their response to Covid-19. It seeks to highlight the role of African PDBs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic; understand the impacts of the shock on the banks themselves; and explore the implications for their role in sustaining a low-carbon and climate-resilient economic recovery in the countries where they operate.
The study demonstrates how African PDBs have proved their worth in the crisis and underscores the case for a much closer partnership with international institutions. The experiences documented here underscore the critical roles that PDBs can play, not only in building economic resilience to crises but also as active agents of industrial and economic policy. These roles become even more critical as crises become more frequent and complex, reversing years of development progress in Africa and leaving African countries some of the most exposed in the world to the most harmful effects of climate change. However, several challenges – particularly high capital costs and limited access to funding – inhibit the full realisation of this potential.