Representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Access Bank Tanzania (ABT) gathered today to sign a grant of USD 660,000 from the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA). FAPA is sponsored by the Government of Japan, and Ambassador Hiroshi NAKAGAWA from the Japanese Government was present for the signing. The technical assistance contribution from FAPA, which makes up 15% of the overall TA package for ABT, will be used to co-finance the provision of technical assistance to ABT to build the capacity of the institution during its first few years of operation. Specifically, FAPA funds will pay to bring in a long-term credit advisor as well as short-term experts for the implementation of new IT/MIS systems and staff training. FAPA funds will cover costs related to these experts for a three-year start-up phase, after which trained ABT staff members will replace them. Two years ago the AfDB made an equity investment of 600,000 Euros to launch the ABT in consort with a number of other Development Finance Institutions who are also contributing to cofinancing the technical assistance package supported by this grant from FAPA. The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) is a component of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance Initiative (EPSA), a billion-dollar joint initiative of Japan and the AfDB to promote private sector development in Africa. The FAPA trust fund provides untied grants for studies, technical assistance and capacity building for private sector projects and African institutions such as ABT. Since FAPA's creation in 2006, Japan has contributed USD 30 million while the AfDB has contributed USD 10 million. FAPA commitments to date total about USD 23 million, covering 28 projects across the African continent.