The group of eight most industrialised countries, G-8, on Wednesday offered strong support for the African Development Bank, AfDB's development promotion programmes, particularly its initiative on infrastructure development and the African Legal Support Facility designed to helps countries negotiate better contracts in the natural resources sector.
The group, at the end of its meeting in Northern Ireland, underlined the need for a strong replenishment of the AfDB, in view of its mandate to support a range of poverty reduction programmes in the continent, including infrastructure development and capacity building of institutions.
"The G8 urges multilateral development institutions to establish and prioritise, as part of ongoing work on International Development Association-17, African Development Fund 13 and European Development Fund-11 replenishments, more effective mechanisms for collaboration on project preparation, funding and risk mitigation for Africa's regional infrastructure programmes, such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA). The G8 recognises the work being done by the G20 on financing for infrastructure in Africa," the group said in its communiqué.
"The G8 commits to explore and identify in advance of our next meeting the further steps it can take together or individually, in collaboration with the private sector, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and other international organisations to facilitate institutional investment flows into bankable trade-related infrastructure projects in developing countries," it said.
While welcoming the financial support provided to the AfDB's African Legal Support Facility and the Facility for Fair Exploitation of Extractive Resources in Africa, the group said other countries should be encouraged to commit to these facilities, assuring that it would support such initiatives by partnering with resource-rich developing countries, the private sector and civil society to strengthen capacity and increase transparency in the extractive sectors.
The African Legal Support Facility is a legal technical assistance facility that helps low income countries address a growing problem of litigation by vulture funds as well as a technical advisory facility that helps regional member countries to negotiate extractive resource contracts to create an appropriate, enabling environment with modern legal and regulatory frameworks for the extractive resources sector.
AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, said he welcomed the G-8 communique as it reflected the recognition of African priorities and an appetite for partnership between the G-8 and African leaders.
"Africa seeks to trade her way out of poverty," he said. "But to do so, she must deal with the issue of the cost of doing business, the risk of small fragmented markets through hard and soft infrastructure."