'Today Is a Day of Joy for Africa' - African Development Bank Celebrates Historic Capital Increase

African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina speaking at the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in Abidjan, October 31st, 2019. The Governors of the African Development Bank, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a landmark $115 billion increase in capital for the continent’s foremost financial institution. The capital increase, the largest in the history of the African Development Bank since its establishment in 1964, is a remarkable show of confidence by shareholders.
1 November 2019
Content from our Premium Partner
African Development Bank (Abidjan)

The African Development Bank on Thursday celebrated a historic $115 billion increase from its shareholders, the largest in the bank's 55-year history.

Applause rang through the stately auditorium of the Sofitel Abidjan, Hotel Ivoire, around 5.30 in the evening after the decision was announced.

"Today is a day of joy for Africa... because the shareholders of the African Development Bank trust the... Bank and have provided this financing," Bank President Akinwumi Adesina told journalists later at a press conference.

Adesina said the capital increase showed that the shareholders had "tremendous faith" in Africa and the Bank.

At an extraordinary shareholders' meeting held in Abidjan earlier on Thursday, Governors of the African Development Bank, representing shareholders from 80 member countries, approved the landmark capital increase. The Bank's capital base now stands at $208 billion.

Adesina said the shareholders had endorsed the Bank's climate change strategy.

"We as a Bank had said we are going to double our financing for climate change... so the shareholders strongly supported that direction... They are asking that we do a lot more on climate," Adesina said.

He also cited the recently launched Desert to Power initiative, which will help supply electricity to 250 million people in 11 countries across the Sahel by tapping into the region's abundant solar resources.

Questions from the journalists centered around what the increase would mean for a continent which despite having some of the world's fastest growing economies, has significant challenges, such as a bulging youth population and a large infrastructure gap.

Adesina said the Board had also called for more investments in regional integration projects and in fragile states affected by a combination of challenges, including conflict, environment challenges and poverty.

"We're going to focus on all countries... Countries have development strategies, those strategies inform their requests for loans to us,"Adesina said. "We don't dictate."

Senior Vice President, Charles Boamah, reminded the group of around 50 journalists that the Bank was not the only player involved in Africa's development.

"It is very important to also think what is going to come from the private sector... Most of the resources for the development of Africa have to come from the private sector. What we are going to do, is to improve business and investment climate," Boamah said.

Adesina said, the general capital increase calls for greater efficiencies in operations and delivery in order to meet the high expectations of shareholders.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.