24 May 2018

Africa: AfDB Says It Backed African Countries in 2017 With U.S.$7.7 Billion

Photo: The Guardian

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Thursday it disbursed about $7.7 billion in 2017 towards the pursuit of programmes to effectively support African countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The disclosure was contained in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES at the end of the end of the Bank's 2018 Annual General Meeting in Busan, Korea Republic.

The Bank's President, Akinwumi Adesina, told delegates, Governors, Executive Directors and Bank staff that the yardstick for measuring its impact is its impact on Africa's development.

"At the end of the day, it is all about the impact. Your Bank is making impact," he said. "We have a very strong financial profile and remains focused on optimizing and strengthening our balance sheet to more effectively accompany African countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."

Group Treasurer and Acting Vice-President for Finance at the Bank, Hassatou N'Sele, said the Bank would continue to improve on its efficiency and remain a responsive and effective partner to maximize its development impact.

"We see ourselves not just as financiers, but also as a catalyst for attracting investment to the continent. We are therefore working with governments, agencies, and non-profits to co-finance or seek grants to support our projects and our development mandate," Ms N'Sele noted.

The Bank, she said, is "solvent, very liquid, cost-effective, attuned to the continent's financial needs, and able to provide very competitive pricing to clients. We are responsive and effective partner - we support our clients in times of crisis and in better times."

She said development to the Bank was about empowering people to realize their needs and aspirations, including through education and better health and inclusion in secure communities.

In the financial report, the Bank showed remarkable increase in impact from projects completed in 2017, which provided 1.5 million direct new jobs, 460 MW of new power capacity installed capacity, 33 per cent of which are renewable energy projects

Besides, the Bank said it built or rehabilitated 2,500 kilometres of roads; eased access to financial services for 210,000 owner-operators and small businesses; provided 8.3 million people with improved access to water and sanitation; reduced 157,000 tons of CO2, and provided 14 million people with improved access to transport.

On the outlook for growth across the continent, the Bank said the climate looks promising, despite local and global challenges

Growth in Africa remained strong, at an estimated 3.7 per cent in 2017, with short-term projections estimates for economic growth at 4.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the meeting, Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with African Risk Capacity (ARC) to work together to address the impact of extreme weather events in the country, including training support to government personnel.

The AfDB President, Mr Adesina who pledged to support ARC in the region, called for more interest groups to join the organisation to ensure availability of insurance against natural disaster risks.

The AfDB and ARC have partnered since March 2017 to strengthen technical collaboration towards enhancing the risk management infrastructure and policy across Africa and in supporting countries in building resilience against climate shocks.

Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun, noted ARC's innovative approach towards climate risk financing and management in Africa, assuring that Nigeria would work with the Agency to address the impact of extreme weather events in the country.

Nigeria, founding member of ARC, established discussions and the nomination of former Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Chair of the Agency's Governing Board.

The country subsequently signed the ARC Establishment Agreement on December 4, 2014, thereby formally becoming a member of the institution.

ARC is a Specialized Agency of the African Union (AU) to help member states improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters.


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