AfDB – More funding required to accelerate Africa’s development

The African development bank is leading the African Union in mobilizing domestic resources required to execute the Bank’s five developmental priorities dubbed the ‘High 5s’. The financing gap to meet these needs is huge, some as large as $162 billion a year. Speaking at the Centre for Global Development in Washington, AfDB president Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said that the Bank had issued local currency bonds in 11 countries, including Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, and Uganda. “We’re investing in the development and integration of capital markets, including the establishment of an African Domestic Bond Index and a $200 million African Domestic Bond Fund to deepen liquidity in local bond markets. Using guarantees, we leverage over four times our equity resources. Our $87 million investment in the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility has led to mobilization of about $8 billion to support major regional infrastructure projects and programs” he said. He added that the Bank had rolled out and investment vehicle, Africa50, for developing and financing infrastructure, which has so far raised $830 million and plans to attract $3 billion in the medium term. The High 5s are the accelerators for Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals developed by AfDB. They were announced by Dr. Adesina during his inaugural address on September 1, 2015. They are; Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. The Bank launched the New Deal on Energy for Africa, with a commitment of $12 billion from the Bank over the next five years, with the goal of leveraging $45-50 billion. The Bank aims to connect 130 million people to the grid, 75 million via off grids and provide some 150 million with clean cooking energy. Africa needs $35 billion to close this power deficit. The Bank has prioritized agriculture with a commitment of $24 billion in the next 10 years for food self-sufficiency and agricultural industrialization in the continent. The recent drought and famine facing some countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda has prompted action as 20 million people face food insecurity and severe malnutrition. The Bank is taking action and is planning to deploy $1.1 billion, following Board approval to address the crisis and ensure that drought does not lead to famine. AFDB has launched initiatives for the women and youth. The Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) has the goal of mobilizing $3 billion for women entrepreneurs while ‘Jobs for Youths in Africa’ initiative will support African countries to create 25 million jobs in agriculture, ICT and SMEs, over the next ten years. “The African Development Bank is delivering for Africa and it has the capacity to deliver more for Africa. It now needs substantial financing wind behind its sails. It’s time for speedy financing actions to accelerate Africa’s development. Doing so will make our dream for Africa with Agenda 2063 come to pass sooner, for action brings the future to the present” said Dr Adesina.

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