Kigali, Rwanda — "The Bank knows how much more still needs to be done in the economic transformation of Africa. This is why being fit for purpose in every respect is necessary for improving development impacts, attracting more private sector participation, and providing excellent value for money for member countries, beneficiaries, and funders."
With these words, the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, is due to welcome deputies to the Mid Term Review (MTR) of the 14th Replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-14) which is scheduled to take place from 24 - 26 October 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda.
The MTR provides an opportunity for state participants, donors, stakeholders, and the African Development Bank Group's Management to assess achievements to date and to discuss and examine challenges for the future.
Since the ADF replenishment in November 2016, the African Development Bank Group has experienced considerable changes in structure, operations, performance and impact to meet the increasing challenges of Africa's economic transformation.
The ADF is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group. It comprises 32 contributing countries and benefits 38 of Africa's most vulnerable and least developed countries. Since 1974, the Fund has cumulatively invested US$45 billion on the African continent. Its resources are replenished every three years by donor countries.
ADF Management will report on the status of the various ADF-14 commitments and discuss strategies for the future, the next replenishment in 2019, financing innovations for the Fund, and the issue of debt sustainability, with donor country deputies.
In ADF countries in 2017, the Bank built 2,730 km of distribution lines to provide access to electricity to households and businesses; provided improved agricultural technologies to 7.8 million farmers; improved access to transport for 13 million Africans, and access to clean water and sanitation for 7.5 million people.
The African Development Fund has created 1.4 million jobs, improved access to financial services for 181,000 small businesses, and created opportunities for many entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses.
The African Development Fund supports programmes that cut across the Bank's strategic High 5 priorities, including numerous projects that empower women and create business and commercial opportunities. Other key ADF projects help beneficiary countries deal with the adverse effects of climate change. ADF-14 will achieve its target of using 40% of total annual approvals to promote climate-resilient and low-carbon development in Africa.
More than one-third of all African countries are affected by fragility and conflicts that have caused the displacement of millions of people. Consequently, the ADF continues to focus on building resilience at local, national and regional levels.
The African Development Bank Group plays a key role in encouraging private investments in fragile countries by providing risk-participation instruments, promoting foreign direct investment, creating conducive enabling environments and building capacity in key institutions.
Integrating the continent will improve the livelihoods of millions and provide countries with access to larger markets. Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, who is the host of the 2018 ADF mid-term review, is strategically encouraging the cross border movement of people, trade and investments, by implementing a visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry into Rwanda for citizens from all African countries.
The role of the ADF in making a difference in the lives of Africans is critical, at regional and on individual levels. In the Kavange District of Malawi for example, the Bank's Global Environment Facility grant has helped rural households and smallholder farmers adapt to climate change. Eti Nankhonde, a grant recipient, says, "I am so happy because I now have 5 goats which I never dreamed I would have. With these goats, hunger will become a thing of the past."
The ADF supports hundreds of thousands of Africans from smallholder farmers, lorry drivers, teenagers in job training, women starting businesses, teachers and graduates.
The African Development Fund had increased financial support 17-fold to the continent's Least Developed Countries in the past three years.