Adesina says ‘General Capital Increase’ will fast-track Africa’s growth, development

Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), has reiterated the need for a “General Capital Increase’’ to   fast-track Africa’s growth and development.

Adesina said this at the 5th Extraordinary meeting of the Board of Governors held in Abidjan.

He said that strong support from the governors and the bank’s shareholders inspired AfDB to make appreciable progress on its mandate.

“It is the strong waves of support from you our shareholders that have powered our hope, inspired our engagement and guided our ship to navigate to the shores of the African Development Bank Headquarters.’’

Adesina, while highlighting the achievements of the bank from 2015 till date, said that final decision of the governors on “General Capital Increase’’ would assist in developing Africa.

“Your final decision on the General Capital Increase will reverberate around the world. It will help us take a giant leap forward for Africa,’’ he said.

According to Adesina, with your support over the past four years, the AfDB has delivered impactful results on the ground through our High 5s.

“We have helped to connect 16 million people to electricity, 70 million people with agricultural technologies for food security and nine million people with access to finance through private sector investee companies.

“Others are 55 million people with improved transport services and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation.

“We have maintained the AAA rating of the bank, even when times were tough. Canada came up with 1.1 billion dollars temporary callable capital.

“Sweden came up with 500 million dollars additional temporary callable capital. All shareholders rallied around the bank to ensure that discussions on the general capital increase progressed positively.

“Together, we have climbed the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there is still some ways to go until we reach the mountaintop.

“Your support will give us oxygen in our lungs to keep on climbing, until we reach the summit where we can together see the Africa we want,’’ he said.

Adesina said that with the “General Capital Increase’’, AfDB would fully develop the `Desert to Power’ initiative to provide access to energy for 250 million people across the Sahel.

He also said that the bank would implement the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) to deliver three billion dollars of new financing for women.

“We will double our climate finance to 25 billion dollars by 2025 and support regional infrastructure to help make the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) a reality.

“We will achieve the Lagos-Abidjan highway and support countries to establish Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones that process and add value to agricultural commodities.

“And with the Africa Investment Forum, we will drive more private investments to Africa.

“We have listened to you on what we must do to further improve as an institution. You have our commitments in the policy matrix.

“But beyond the pages of paper, you have my own personal commitment as President of the Bank, which we will deliver on all the policy commitments we made for the General Capital Increase.

“The bank met all 36 of its commitments for the 6th General Capital Increase. It will be the same for the 7th General Capital Increase.

“We will be much more sharply focused and will ramp up on quality of operations,’’ he said.

Adesina said that AfDB would work in strategic partnerships, bilaterally and multilaterally to address debt sustainability through enhanced policy dialogue.

“We will ensure that the General Capital Increase lifts all boats: low-income and middle-income countries,’’ he said. (NAN)