Call Us Now: (240) 429 2177

african-development-bank

After COVID-19, what will Africa look like in 2030 and 2063?
April 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka*

Participant leaders take part in a family photo at the African Union headquarters during the 33rd African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 09, 2020.
Participant leaders take part in a family photo at the African Union headquarters during the 33rd African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on February 09, 2020.
African leaders need to look in the mirror and ask where this continent will be in 2030 and 2063

The COVID-19 pandemic, one of the world’s most significant events, has resulted in cessation of economic activities that will lead to a significant decline in GDP, an unprecedented social disruption, and the loss of millions of jobs. According to estimates by the African Development Bank, the contraction of the region’s economies will cost Sub-Saharan Africa between $35 billion and $100 billion due to an output decline and a steep fall in commodity prices, especially the crash of oil prices.

More fundamentally, the pandemic has brutally exposed the hollowness of African economies on two fronts: the fragility and weakness of Africa’s health and pharmaceutical sectors and the lack of industrial capabilities. The two are complementary.

This is because Africa is almost 100 percent dependent on imports for the supply of medicines.

According to a recent McKinsey (2019) study, China and India supply 70 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s demand for medicine, worth $14 billion. China’s and India’s markets are worth $120 billion and $33 billion respectively. Consider a hypothetic situation where both India and China are unable or unwilling to supply the African market? Africa surely faces a health hazard.

The root of Africa’s underdeveloped industrial and health sectors can be encapsulated in three ways. First, some African policy makers simply think that poor countries do not need to industrialize. This group believes the “no-industrial policy” advocates who engage in rhetoric that does not fit the facts. The histories of both Western societies, and contemporary lessons from East Asia, run contrary to that stance.

Clearly, governments have an important role to play in the nature and direction of industrialization. Progressive governments throughout history understand that the faster the rate of growth in manufacturing, the faster the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

From the Economist magazine five years ago: “BY MAKING things and selling them to foreigners, China has transformed itself—and the world economy with it. In 1990 it produced less than 3% of global manufacturing output by value; its share now is nearly a quarter. China produces about 80% of the world’s air-conditioners, 70% of its mobile phones and 60% of its shoes. Today, China is the world’s leader in manufacturing and produces almost half of the world’s steel.” The keyword is “making”.

Two, rich countries therefore became rich by manufacturing and exporting to others, including high-quality goods and services. Poor African countries remain poor because they continue to produce raw materials for rich countries. For example, 70% of global trade in agriculture is in semi-processed and processed products. Africa is largely absent in this market while the region remains an exporter of raw materials to Asia and the West.

Lastly, African countries are repeatedly told that they cannot compete based on scale economy, and as well, price and quality competitiveness because China will outcompete them. For this reason, they should jettison the idea of local production of drugs, food and the most basic things.

The question is: How did Vietnam, with a population of 95 million, emerge from a brutal 20-year war and lift more than 45 million people out of poverty between 2002 and 2018 and develop a manufacturing base that spans textiles, agriculture, furniture, plastics, paper, tourism and telecommunications? It has emerged as a manufacturing powerhouse, becoming the world’s third-largest exporter of textiles and garments (after China and Bangladesh).

Vietnam currently exports over 10 million tonnes of rice, coming third after India and China.

How is it that Bangladesh, a country far poorer than many African countries, is able to manufacture 97% of all its drugs demand, yet it is next door to India, a powerhouse of drug manufacturing?

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed Africa. African leaders need to look in the mirror and ask where this continent will be in 2030 and 2063. Africa must adopt progressive industrial policies that create inclusive, prosperous and sustainable societies.

What then should be done? A three-pronged approached is urgently needed.

First, Africa needs a strong regional coordination mechanism to consolidate small uncompetitive firms operating in small atomistic market structures. With a consumer base of 1.3 billion and $3.3 trillion market under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the continent has no choice but to bring together its fragmented markets.

Second, Africa needs to build better institutions, strengthen weak ones and introduce the ones missing. No better wake-up call is required than the present pandemic.

Third, one important institution that has been abruptly disrupted is the supply chain for medicines and food, for example. Logistics for transporting capital and consumer goods across the region need predictable structures. Building or strengthening supply chains involve fostering and providing regulations for long-term agreements and competences that leverage both private and public institutional challenges such as customs regulations.

Finally, development finance institutions (DFIs) such as the African Development Bank are mandated to, and are currently, trying to fill the gaps left by private financial institutions. There is an opportunity to Africa to rethink and reengineer its future. The Africa of tomorrow must look inwards for its solutions. – whether in feeding its own people, build industrial powerhouses led by African champions.

The African Development Bank stands ready to help target and push for deeper economic transformation. Africa needs to execute structurally transformative projects that generate positive externalities and social returns. Keep our eyes on the days after.

*Source AFDB.Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, is the Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization to the President of the African Development Bank. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and Professorial Fellow, United Nations University. His recent book is “Resurgent Africa: Structural Transformation and Sustainable Development”, UK: Anthem Press, 2020.
0
Read More
The African Development Bank and its partners want your ideas for beating the COVID-19 pandemic
April 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Set to host an online #AfricaVsVirus Challenge from 16 to 19 April 2020

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April 10, 2020/ — The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) and partners are set to host an online #AfricaVsVirus Challenge from 16 to 19 April 2020. The 72-hour competition is a global hackathon – or “ideathon” – to develop effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, companies, civil society organizations and governments with bankable solutions or ventures to address the pandemic. The top pitches will be eligible to win thousands of dollars’ worth of financial, technical and skills-learning support to advance their implementation. Details on competition qualifications and methods of participation can be found here: www.AfricaVsVirus.com.  

“COVID-19’s impact on the global economy is pushing millions of people, especially women and young people, into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty. Part of our response is  the #AfricaVsVirus Challenge,” said Tapera Muzira, Coordinator of the African Development Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy (https://bit.ly/2Rm9oQ7). “This online Challenge will channel youth creativity and innovation to real life solutions that mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on health, the economy, SMEs and jobs,” he added.

The #AfricaVsVirus Challenge opens on Thursday, 16 April at 6:30 pm CET and runs non-stop through to Sunday, 19 April at 6:30 pm CET. Entrants can choose to submit ideas under one of the following sectors: public health and epidemiology; vulnerable populations; businesses and economy; community; education; entertainment; government support; environment and energy; and food security. Alternatively, they may choose their own theme. 

An expert panel will select the twenty best solutions submitted, and these finalists will be invited to take part in a one-month educational program by Seedstars . The top three winning ideas will receive up to $50,000 worth of in-kind prizes. 

#AfricaVsVirus Challenge is part of the Bank’s strategy to support young African entrepreneurs – especially young women entrepreneurs – and their SMEs and startups by providing an enabling environment to innovate appropriate solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. The Bank’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab , working closely with the Youth Entrepreneurship & Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund is hosting the ideathon, with partners Seedstars  digital agency WAAT  and development consultants Luvent Consulting .

Rollout of the Challenge follows the African Development Bank’s launch on 8 April of a $10 billion COVID-19 response facility, and the sale of a record $3 billion debt issue last month to raise financing to help African countries confront the pandemic, which is already wreaking havoc on their economies.

Interested parties can follow the global conversation about the competition by following #AfricaVsVirus on social media, or by logging on to www.AfricaVsVirus.com.

*AFDB
0
Read More
African Development Bank Group unveils $10 billion Response Facility to curb COVID-19
April 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 8 April 2020 – The African Development Bank Group on Wednesday announced the creation of the COVID-19 Response Facility to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic.

The Facility is the latest measure taken by the Bank to respond to the pandemic and will be the institution’s primary channel for its efforts to address the crisis. It provides up to $10 billion to governments and the private sector.

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said the package took into account the fiscal challenges that many African countries are facing.

“Africa is facing enormous fiscal challenges to respond to the coronavirus pandemic effectively. The African Development Bank Group is deploying its full weight of emergency response support to assist Africa at this critical time. We must protect lives. This Facility will help African countries to fast-track their efforts to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19,” Adesina said, commending the Board of Directors for its unwavering support.

The Facility entails $5.5 billion for sovereign operations in African Development Bank countries, and $3.1 billion for sovereign and regional operations for countries under the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional arm that caters to fragile countries. An additional $1.35 billion will be devoted to private sector operations.

Commenting on the Facility, Acting Senior Vice-President Swazi Tshabalala said: “The setting up of the Facility required a collective effort and courage by all our staff, Board of Directors and our shareholders.”

Two weeks ago, the Bank launched a record-breaking $3 billion Fight COVID-19 Social Bond, the world’s largest US dollar-denominated social bond ever on the international capital market. Last week, the Board of Directors also approved a $2 million grant for the World Health Organization for its efforts on the continent. 

“These are extraordinary times, and we must take bold and decisive actions to save and protect millions of lives in Africa. We are in a race to save lives. No country will be left behind,” Adesina said.

*AFDB

1+
Read More
In Defense of a Pan Africanist – Dr Akinwumi Adesina
April 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ken Giami*

Dr Akinwumi Adesina
Dr Akinwumi Adesina

PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom, April 8, 2020,– In an Africa, dealing with monumental infrastructure and energy deficits; a teeming youthful population desperate for jobs and opportunities; and currently facing what is arguably its most daunting challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic; the continent has never been as in need of leaders, who care about the development and welfare of its people, as it does now. Leaders who transcend myopic classifications and are pan Africanists in the mould of Thomas Sankara, Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela. Key critical stakeholders have also never agreed as they are today, that Africa has one of such men in Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

He crisscrosses the globe preaching the gospel of a resurgent Africa and has been severally nicknamed Africa’s developer-in-chief, Africa’s promoter – in-chief, but, one stands out, Africa’s Optimist-in-Chief.

A distinguished development economist, and agricultural development expert with over 28 years international experience, Dr Adesina was at different times the Vice President of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa; Associate Director, Rockefeller foundation; and Principal Economist, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, IITA.

He also served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011-2015, during which time he pioneered innovative agricultural investments projects to expand opportunities for the private sector, receiving several awards and accolades for excellence during the course of work.

Dr Adesina was elected in 2015 as the 8th President of the African Development Bank – the first Nigerian to head the leading development institution in its long chequered history.   The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS at its 56th ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of States, endorsed the reelection of Dr Akinwumi Adesina as the President of the African Development Bank.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the authority noted that “in recognition of the sterling performance of Dr Akinwumi Adesina during his first term of office as President of the African Development Bank, the Authority endorses his candidacy for a second term as the President of the bank.”

Preceding his endorsement for a second term, Dr Adesina had won the 2017 World Food Prize – a parallel to the Nobel Peace Prize.

The World Food Prize on its website, while announcing the award, stated that “through his roles over the past two decades with the Rockefeller Foundation, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and as Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria, Dr Adesina has been at the forefront of galvanizing political will to transform African agriculture through initiatives to expand agricultural production, and thwart corruption in the Nigerian fertilizer industry.”

In February 2019, Dr Adesina co-won the Sunhak Peace Prize, alongside Waris Dirie, the tireless fighter for female genital mutilation and women’s rights in Africa. Later the same year, he was overwhelmingly voted as the African of the Year 2019, in the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards by Africans from all spectrum of society with over 68% of total votes cast in his category – the continent’s leading vote-based poll. And there has been a deluge of several other endorsements from governments, individuals and organizations from within and outside the continent.

Like the famous quote, “behind every successful person lies a pack of haters”, It was therefore unsurprising to see the uninspiring media attack cloaked in the garb of revelation by “whistleblowers-cum-group of concerned staff”.

This weak attempt at pulling down a shining star, published in the French tabloid, Le Monde, would certainly pass for a malicious piece, designed to muddy the waters. One can also safely say that they are meant to detract the African Development Bank from focusing on its core mandate, which it had tenaciously pursued under the leadership of its President, Dr Adesina.

Someone of Dr Adesina’s pedigree is not opposed to scrutiny. He has become an apostle for good governance and best practices, the twin message that has become his anthem at meetings with key African stakeholders. According to the 2018 Aid Transparency Index Report, released by Publish What you Fund, African Development Bank was ranked 4th among 45 development organizations around the world. 

A careful study of the issues as raised by the ‘whistleblowers’ in their report, which was the source of the Le Monde article – calls for a closer look at the ‘invisible ink’. In the story, he was accused among other things of a plan to “Nigerianize the AfDB by giving compatriots key positions, but also by more easily granting lines of credit to leading Nigerian companies.” 

Nothing can be further from the truth. Nigeria, though the largest shareholder in the Bank with about $6 billion portfolio, appears to be getting the short end of the projects. For instance, an approved list of projects on the website of the AfDB showed about 75 projects totalling $64, 584, 648, and none of the majors was mainly targeted at Nigeria alone.

While Senegal, Cameroun, Tanzania, Rwanda, Namibia amongst others, had specific projects aimed at the individual country levels, Nigeria was lumped more in the multi-countrywide projects categories. In any case, one should think that Nigeria, with its vast population and very well known energy and infrastructure problems, and as the largest shareholder of the Bank, should have a much more significant share of the Bank’s projects.

It may therefore not be surprising if the ‘invisible ink’ in these accusations is linked to Dr Adesina’s stubborn resolve to detangle Africa from the shackles of over-dependence on others but seek self-reliant African solutions to Africa’s problems. He has also taken upon himself the onerous task of challenging the negative stereotypes about the continent.

One would also wonder, if the timing of these accusations published in the French tabloid Le Monde, and the recent calls by two French doctors on live television for COVID-19 vaccine trial tests to be carried out in Africa, at a time that the AfDB had just successfully listed a US $3Billion Social bond on the London Stock Exchange to help Africa deal with the pandemic, are linked?

It was appalling to see two French doctors on the French television channel, LCI, propose that the potential vaccine for the Virus be tested on Africans first, before deploying it to Europe and Australia. Instantly, this set-off a backlash from people of goodwill from around the continent and beyond. This kind of thinking from some westerners is what leaders like Dr Adesina have consistently challenged, and some vested interests aren’t happy about it. Make no mistake, Africa has some worthy partners in the west, but her adversaries come in equal measure.    

On his part, Dr Adesina, in his response to the Le Monde article, has said that “the African Development Bank has a very high reputation for good governance.” He restated, the Bank’s confidence in the governance system put in place by the board of Governors of the Bank and asked that the ethics committee of the Bank be allowed to do its job without interference. We dare say without any media trials also.

Dr Adesina, since his emergence as the 8th President of the Bank in 2015 has led the Bank on what many analysts have described as an exceptional tenure. A leader in agricultural innovation for over 28 years, Dr Adesina has contributed significantly to food security in Africa, aimed at improving the lives of millions in the continent. The Bank, under Dr Adesina, has recorded many firsts and marked several milestones including: 

  • Increase in the Bank’s capital, showing the shareholders’ high level of confidence in the institution.
  • The Bank’s governors, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a historic capital increase of $115 billion. The institution’s capital more than doubled to $208 billion, which solidified the Bank’s leadership in financing development in Africa. The unprecedented increase, the largest since the Bank’s creation in 1964, provided clear evidence of shareholders’ trust.

The African Development Bank Group continues to play a central role in Africa’s development under the leadership of Dr Adesina. We, therefore, call on all stakeholders, including the UN, WHO, President Ramophosa-led African Union, Afreximbank and other institutions, currently at the forefront of pushing for the continent’s survival in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, to band together and do all it takes to save the continent, and indeed the world by defeating the virus in Africa, rather than give credence to a seemingly stage-managed media spat. As Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rightly said, “If COVID-19 is not defeated in Africa it will return to haunt us all”. 

*Ken Giami is the Founder and Publisher of the African Leadership magazine, and writes from the United Kingdom.Published with permission of the author

0
Read More
In Defense of a Pan Africanist – Dr Akinwumi Adesina
April 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ken Giami

PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom, April 8, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- In an Africa, dealing with monumental infrastructure and energy deficits; a teeming youthful population desperate for jobs and opportunities; and currently facing what is arguably its most daunting challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic; the continent has never been as in need of leaders, who care about the development and welfare of its people, as it does now. Leaders who transcend myopic classifications and are pan Africanists in the mould of Thomas Sankara, Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela. Key critical stakeholders have also never agreed as they are today, that Africa has one of such men in Dr Akinwumi Adesina. He crisscrosses the globe preaching the gospel of a resurgent Africa and has been severally nicknamed Africa’s developer-in-chief, Africa’s promoter – in-chief, but, one stands out, Africa’s Optimist-in-Chief.

A distinguished development economist, and agricultural development expert with over 28 years international experience, Dr Adesina was at different times the Vice President of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa; Associate Director, Rockefeller foundation; and Principal Economist, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, IITA. He also served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011-2015, during which time he pioneered innovative agricultural investments projects to expand opportunities for the private sector, receiving several awards and accolades for excellence during the course of work. Dr Adesina was elected in 2015 as the 8th President of the African Development Bank – the first Nigerian to head the leading development institution in its long chequered history.   The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS at its 56th ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of States, endorsed the reelection of Dr Akinwumi Adesina as the President of the African Development Bank.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the authority noted that “in recognition of the sterling performance of Dr Akinwumi Adesina during his first term of office as President of the African Development Bank, the Authority endorses his candidacy for a second term as the President of the bank.”

Preceding his endorsement for a second term, Dr Adesina had won the 2017 World Food Prize – a parallel to the Nobel Peace Prize. The World Food Prize on its website, while announcing the award, stated that “through his roles over the past two decades with the Rockefeller Foundation, at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and as Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria, Dr Adesina has been at the forefront of galvanizing political will to transform African agriculture through initiatives to expand agricultural production, and thwart corruption in the Nigerian fertilizer industry.”

In February 2019, Dr Adesina co-won the Sunhak Peace Prize, alongside Waris Dirie, the tireless fighter for female genital mutilation and women’s rights in Africa. Later the same year, he was overwhelmingly voted as the African of the Year 2019, in the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards by Africans from all spectrum of society with over 68% of total votes cast in his category – the continent’s leading vote-based poll. And there has been a deluge of several other endorsements from governments, individuals and organizations from within and outside the continent.

Like the famous quote, “behind every successful person lies a pack of haters”, It was therefore unsurprising to see the uninspiring media attack cloaked in the garb of revelation by “whistleblowers-cum-group of concerned staff”. This weak attempt at pulling down a shining star, published in the French tabloid, Le Monde, would certainly pass for a malicious piece, designed to muddy the waters. One can also safely say that they are meant to detract the African Development Bank from focusing on its core mandate, which it had tenaciously pursued under the leadership of its President, Dr Adesina.

Someone of Dr Adesina’s pedigree is not opposed to scrutiny. He has become an apostle for good governance and best practices, the twin message that has become his anthem at meetings with key African stakeholders. According to the 2018 Aid Transparency Index Report, released by Publish What you Fund, African Development Bank was ranked 4th among 45 development organizations around the world. A careful study of the issues as raised by the ‘whistleblowers’ in their report, which was the source of the Le Monde article – calls for a closer look at the ‘invisible ink’. In the story, he was accused among other things of a plan to “Nigerianize the AfDB by giving compatriots key positions, but also by more easily granting lines of credit to leading Nigerian companies.”

Nothing can be further from the truth. Nigeria, though the largest shareholder in the Bank with about $6 billion portfolio, appears to be getting the short end of the projects. For instance, an approved list of projects on the website of the AfDB showed about 75 projects totalling $64, 584, 648, and none of the majors was mainly targeted at Nigeria alone. While Senegal, Cameroun, Tanzania, Rwanda, Namibia amongst others, had specific projects aimed at the individual country levels, Nigeria was lumped more in the multi-countrywide projects categories. In any case, one should think that Nigeria, with its vast population and very well known energy and infrastructure problems, and as the largest shareholder of the Bank, should have a much more significant share of the Bank’s projects.

It may therefore not be surprising if the ‘invisible ink’ in these accusations is linked to Dr Adesina’s stubborn resolve to detangle Africa from the shackles of over-dependence on others but seek self-reliant African solutions to Africa’s problems. He has also taken upon himself the onerous task of challenging the negative stereotypes about the continent. One would also wonder, if the timing of these accusations published in the French tabloid Le Monde, and the recent calls by two French doctors on live television for COVID-19 vaccine trial tests to be carried out in Africa, at a time that the AfDB had just successfully listed a US $3Billion Social bond on the London Stock Exchange to help Africa deal with the pandemic, are linked?

It was appalling to see two French doctors on the French television channel, LCI, propose that the potential vaccine for the Virus be tested on Africans first, before deploying it to Europe and Australia. Instantly, this set-off a backlash from people of goodwill from around the continent and beyond. This kind of thinking from some westerners is what leaders like Dr Adesina have consistently challenged, and some vested interests aren’t happy about it. Make no mistake, Africa has some worthy partners in the west, but her adversaries come in equal measure.

On his part, Dr Adesina, in his response to the Le Monde article, has said that “the African Development Bank has a very high reputation for good governance.” He restated, the Bank’s confidence in the governance system put in place by the board of Governors of the Bank and asked that the ethics committee of the Bank be allowed to do its job without interference. We dare say without any media trials also.

Dr Adesina, since his emergence as the 8th President of the Bank in 2015 has led the Bank on what many analysts have described as an exceptional tenure. A leader in agricultural innovation for over 28 years, Dr Adesina has contributed significantly to food security in Africa, aimed at improving the lives of millions in the continent. The Bank, under Dr Adesina, has recorded many firsts and marked several milestones including: 

  • Increase in the Bank’s capital, showing the shareholders’ high level of confidence in the institution.
  • The Bank’s governors, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a historic capital increase of $115 billion. The institution’s capital more than doubled to $208 billion, which solidified the Bank’s leadership in financing development in Africa. The unprecedented increase, the largest since the Bank’s creation in 1964, provided clear evidence of shareholders’ trust.

The African Development Bank Group continues to play a central role in Africa’s development under the leadership of Dr Adesina. We, therefore, call on all stakeholders, including the UN, WHO, President Ramophosa-led African Union, Afreximbank and other institutions, currently at the forefront of pushing for the continent’s survival in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, to band together and do all it takes to save the continent, and indeed the world by defeating the virus in Africa, rather than give credence to a seemingly stage-managed media spat. As Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rightly said, “If COVID-19 is not defeated in Africa it will return to haunt us all”.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of African Leadership Magazine.

Ken Giami is the Founder and Publisher of the African Leadership magazine, and writes from the United Kingdom.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

0
Read More
African Development Bank Appoints Pepin Vougo Acting Director of Corporate Information and Technology
April 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, April 7, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Senior Management is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Pepin Vougo as Acting Director, Corporate Information and Technology Department effective 1 April 2020.

Pepin Vougo has more than 20 years of experience in technology and its application. He is a seasoned executive with depth and breadth of experience in delivering complex technology solutions on an international scale. He benefits from both private sector and MDB experience.

Pepin has been with the African Development Bank for 7 years, first as Infrastructure and Telecommunications Manager and then as Business Solutions Development Manager in charge of the Bank’s Application Development portfolio. As well as delivering numerous successful online applications to help digitize the Bank, he led the development of the 2017-2021 Digital Strategy.

Prior to the African Development Bank, Pepin was Deputy Division Chief at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he was responsible for IT service delivery to over 100 offices around the world. He oversaw an IT budget of USD 12 million (capital) and USD 11m (operating) and managed a team of over 100 people. He launched important initiatives while at the IMF, delivering major cost-saving successes for the institution, as well as measured improvement in IT client experience and satisfaction.

Before joining the IMF, Pepin’s career was in leading private sector companies. He was a Vice-President of Engineering with JP Morgan Chase from 2006 to 2009, in charge of the Global Software & Configuration Management Group supporting over 5,000 developers worldwide. Pepin also led a major workforce reconfiguration exercise, to allow the company to respond to a rapidly changed economic context. Pepin started his career with Symantec, as an Application Integration Engineer. He left as IT Operations Manager for the Information Security and Compliance line of business, supporting over 2000 developers globally.

Pepin holds a Master of Business Administration from St Thomas University in Houston, Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Houston.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of the African Development Bank.

About the African Development Bank Group
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.afdb.org

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

0
Read More
African Development Bank Appoints Nourredine Lafhel Acting Chief Risk Officer
April 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, April 7, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Nourredine Lafhel as Acting Chief Risk Officer, effective 6th April 2020.

Lafhel, a Canadian national, is currently the Sovereign Credit and Market Risk Division Manager (PGRF3), in the Directorate of the Group Risk Management Function of the African Development Bank Group. An experienced risk management professional, Nourredine has more than twenty (20) years of experience in finance and risk management. He is a proven leader in the development of innovative solutions and strategies for balance sheet optimization, capital adequacy and market risk management. He has worked in several continents including North America, Middle East and Africa.

In his role as Division Manager, Nourredine, has had extensive experience in reviewing market risk, sovereign portfolio reports, sovereign credit policy and the Bank’s credit policy and graduation. He has been instrumental in defining the Bank’s economic capital requirements for market, credit and operational risk. In particular, Nourredine was part of the team that developed the Room to Run initiative – the Bank’s innovative $1 billion synthetic securitization deal.

Before joining the Bank, Lafhel held senior treasury and credit risk roles at S&P Global Ratings as Director, Sovereign and International Public Finance Rating, and as Senior Director, Credit Risk Management & Rating at Acreditus, in the United Arab Emirates. In these roles, Nourredine provided strategic advice, policy guidance and analytical support to MENA sovereign entities in the area of capital markets, credit risk management and ratings on confidential basis.

Prior to this, he served at the Bank of Canada as a Principal Credit Risk officer, where he was responsible for the implementation of the internal rating methodologies and scorecards of sovereigns, GREs, supranational institutions, and banks.  He led credit risk assessments and internal ratings of investment and trading counterparties.

Lafhel is fluent in French, English and Arabic, and holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Finance from the University of Quebec at Montreal – ESG School of Management, Canada and a Bachelor (Honours) in Financial Management from the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences, at University Hassan II of Casablanca in Morocco.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank said: “Nourredine is an experienced and well-respected professional who has played an active role in the Bank’s asset liability management and credit risk committees. He has provided critical technical direction in the development of innovative solutions and strategies for balance sheet optimization including sovereign exposure exchange agreement, sovereign risk transfer, Room2Run and the AFAWA risk sharing mechanism. I am confident that Nourredine will continue to provide critical leadership and innovation to ensure that we maintain our triple A rating.”

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of the African Development Bank.

About the African Development Bank Group
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.afdb.org

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

0
Read More
African Development Bank appoints Mrs. Nafissatou N’diaye Diouf Acting Director for Communications and External Relations
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
I look to Nafissatou to steer the Department at this critical moment as the Bank responds to the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 and to continue the excellent work done to date in the Department, says AFDB President Akinwumi Adesina

Nafissatou, a Senegalese national, is currently a Division Manager in the Communications and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank Group

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April 6, 2020/ — The African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs. Nafissatou N’diaye DIOUF as the Acting Director for Communications and External Relations Department (PCER), effective 1 April 2020.

Nafissatou, a Senegalese national, is currently a Division Manager in the Communications and External Relations Department of the African Development Bank Group. A dedicated and results driven communications professional, Nafissatou brings over twenty (20) years of experience to the role, with a comprehensive background in corporate communications, public relations, journalism, digital and media Development.

Since her appointment as Division Manager in 2018, Nafissatou has fostered agile communication strategies, consistently reflecting cohesion with the Bank’s vision. She has built and led a world-class team of editors, writers, digital and media specialists, resulting in exponential increase in coverage and awareness around the Bank’s strategic objectives and projects.

Prior, Nafissatou had served as a communications consultant with the Bank’s Private Sector and Infrastructure Complex and Trade Department from 2016 to 2018, during which she engaged with Regional Integration and Trade Department Senior Management, streamlining communication and public relations strategies across a variety of platforms.

Before joining the Bank, Nafissatou, the founder and Managing Director of 54 Communications company, in Dakar, Senegal from 2011 to 2017 provided leadership for the cross-functional development and delivery of compelling public relations, branding, communication and event management strategies for a broad spectrum of public and private entities.

Nafissatou also worked as Public Relations Director for Francophone Africa ZK AdvertisingJohannesburg, South Africa during which she demonstrated a keen aptitude for cross-cultural leadership, managing teams of public relations professionals, account managers and country representatives across seven African countries, including Gabon, Niger, Chad, Madagascar, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. With a creative and collaborative approach to project management within challenging markets, Nafissatou excels in strategic storytelling, content development, capacity building and mentoring.

Prior to her transition into corporate communication, Nafissatou worked as a journalist with the Associated Press (AP), covering international conflicts and crises west and central Africa including Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Mauritania, and the Central African Republic. Many of her breaking news stories were featured in global newspapers such as the Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe and the LA Times. Nafissatou also worked as an Open-Source Officer for the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), a division of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Science and Technology.

A native French speaker, Nafissatou holds a Master of Arts degree in Interpreting and Translation from Salford University in the United Kingdom (UK), a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Applied Language Studies from Thames Valley University and a Diploma in Journalism and Newswriting from the London School of Journalism.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank said: “Nafissatou is a respected professional in the Communications and External Relations industry. I look to Nafissatou to steer the Department at this critical moment as the Bank responds to the rapidly changing situation of COVID-19 and to continue the excellent work done to date in the Department”.

*AFDB

0
Read More
The AFDB is a model of governance-President Akinwumi Adesina in reply to Le Monde Article
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank has a very high reputation of good governance says AFDB President Akinwumi Adesina

PRESS STATEMENT BY DR. AKINWUMI ADESINA, PRESIDENT, AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK April 6, 2020, ABIDJAN, COTE D’IVOIRE

An article in Le Monde has come to my attention. Following its publication, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous show of support and solidarity I have continued to receive.

The African Development Bank has a very high reputation of good governance. The Bank was rated as the 4th most transparent institution in the world by Publish What You Fund. I have strong confidence in the governance systems of the Bank put in place by the Board of Governors of the Bank.

The Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors is following its internal review systems and should be allowed to complete its review and work without interference from anyone or the media.

I am 100% confident that due process and transparency, based on facts and evidence, will indicate that these are all nothing more than spurious and unfounded allegations.

I would like all our highly dedicated Bank staff, shareholders and partners not to be moved or shaken by any of these blatantly false allegations.

I will stay calm and resolute. I will not be distracted. No amount of lies can ever cover up the truth. Soon the truth will come out. 

I will continue to discharge my duties and responsibilities as President, with the highest level of professionalism, dedication and unshaken resolve, to lead and support the Bank’s bold mission for Africa’s accelerated development, and to help protect the continent at this time of the COVID19 pandemic.“

Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina

President, African Development Bank

0
Read More
Press statement by Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 06 April 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- An article in Le Monde has come to my attention. Following its publication, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous show of support and solidarity I have continued to receive.

The African Development Bank has a very high reputation of good governance. The Bank was rated as the 4th most transparent institution in the world by Publish What You Fund. I have strong confidence in the governance systems of the Bank put in place by the Board of Governors of the Bank.

The Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors is following its internal review systems and should be allowed to complete its review and work without interference from anyone or the media.

I am 100% confident that due process and transparency, based on facts and evidence, will indicate that these are all nothing more than spurious and unfounded allegations.

I would like all our highly dedicated Bank staff, shareholders and partners not to be moved or shaken by any of these blatantly false allegations.

I will stay calm and resolute. I will not be distracted. No amount of lies can ever cover up the truth. Soon the truth will come out.

I will continue to discharge my duties and responsibilities as President, with the highest level of professionalism, dedication and unshaken resolve, to lead and support the Bank’s bold mission for Africa’s accelerated development, and to help protect the continent at this time of the COVID19 pandemic.”

Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina
President, African Development Bank

Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of the African Development Bank.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

0
Read More
Opinion: The pandemic is no time for fiscal distancing
April 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Akinwumi Adesina*

Akinwumi Adesina is the President of the African Development Bank

CNN)These are very difficult days, as the world faces one of its worst challenges ever: the novel coronavirus pandemic. And it seems almost no nation is spared. As infection rates rise, so does panic across financial markets, as economies drastically slow down and supply chains are severely disrupted. 

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. As such, it can no longer be business as usual. 

Each day, the situation evolves and requires constant reviews of precautionary measures and strategies. In the midst of all this, we must all worry about the ability of every nation to respond to this crisis. And we must ensure that developing nations are prepared to navigate these uncharted waters fully

That’s why I support the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ urgent call for special resources for the world’s developing countries. 

In the face of this pandemic, we must put lives above resources and health above debt. Why? Because developing economies are the most vulnerable at this time. Our remedies must go beyond simply lending more. We must go the extra mile and provide countries with much-needed and urgent financial relief — and that includes developing countries under sanctions. 

According to the independent, global think tank ODI in its report on the impact of economic sanctions, for decades, sanctions have decimated investments in public health care systems in quite a number of countries.

Today, the already stretched systems as noted in the 2019 Global Health Security Index will find it difficult to face up to a clear and present danger that now threatens our collective existence.

Only those that are alive can pay back debts.  

Sanctions work against economies but not against the virus. If countries that are under sanctions are unable to respond and provide critical care for their citizens or protect them, then the virus will soon “sanction” the world.

In my Yoruba language, there is a saying. “Be careful when you throw stones in the open market. It may hit a member of your family.”  

That’s why I also strongly support the call by the UN Secretary-General that debts of low-income countries be suspended in these fast-moving and uncertain times. 

But I call for even bolder actions, and there are several reasons for doing so. 

First, the economies of developing countries, despite years of great progress, remain extremely fragile and ill equipped to deal with this pandemic. They are more likely to be buried with the heavy fiscal pressure they now face with the coronavirus. 

Second, many of the countries in Africa depend on commodities for export earnings. The collapse of oil prices has thrown African economies into distress. According the AFDB’s 2020 Africa Economic Outlook, they simply are not able to meet budgets as planned under pre-coronavirus oil price benchmarks.

The impact has been immediate in the oil and gas sector, as noted in a recent CNN news analysis.

In the current environment, we can anticipate an acute shortage of buyers who, for understandable reasons, will reallocate resources to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. African countries that depend on tourism receipts as a key source of revenue are also in a straightjacket. 

Third, while rich countries have resources to spare, evidenced by trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus, developing countries are hampered with bare-bones resources. 

The fact is, if we do not collectively defeat the coronavirus in Africa, we will not defeat it anywhere else in the world. This is an existential challenge that requires all hands to be on deck. Today, more than ever, we must be our brothers and sisters’ keepers.  

Around the world, countries at more advanced stages in the outbreak are announcing liquidity relief, debt restructuring, forbearance on loan repayments, relaxation of standard regulations and initiatives.

In the United States, packages of more than $2 trillion have already been announced, in addition to a reduction in Federal Reserve lending rates and liquidity support to keep markets operating. In Europe, the larger economies have announced stimulus measures in excess of 1 trillion Euros. Additionally, even larger packages are expected. 

As developed countries put in place programs to compensate workers for lost wages for staying at home for social distancing, another problem has emerged — fiscal distancing.

Think for a moment what this means for Africa. 

The African Development Bank estimates that Covid-19 could cost Africa a GDP loss between $22.1 billion, in the base case scenario, and $88.3 billion in the worst case scenario. This is equivalent to a projected GDP growth contraction of between 0.7 and 2.8 percentage points in 2020. It is even likely that Africa might fall into recession this year if the current situation persists.

The Covid-19 shock will further squeeze fiscal space in the continent as deficits are estimated to widen by 3.5 to 4.9 percentage points, increasing Africa’s financing gap by an additional $110 to $154 billion in 2020. 

Our estimates indicate that Africa’s total public debt could increase, under the base case scenario, from $1.86 trillion at the end of 2019 to over $2 trillion in 2020, compared to $1.9 trillion projected in a ‘no pandemic’ scenario. According to a March 2020 Bank report, these figures could reach $2.1 trillion in 2020 under the worst case scenario.

This, therefore, is a time for bold actions. We should temporarily defer the debt owed to multilateral development banks and international financial institutions. This can be done by re-profiling loans to create fiscal space for countries to deal with this crisis.  

That means that loan principals due to international financial institutions in 2020 could be deferred. I am calling for temporary forbearance, not forgiveness. What’s good for bilateral and commercial debt must be good for multilateral debt.

That way, we will avoid moral hazards, and rating agencies will be less inclined to penalize any institution on the potential risk to their Preferred Creditor Status.  The focus of the world should now be on helping everyone, as a risk to one is a risk to all.

There is no coronavirus for developed countries and a coronavirus for developing and debt-stressed countries. We are all in this together.  

Multilateral and bilateral financial institutions must work together with commercial creditors in Africa, especially to defer loan payments and give Africa the fiscal space it needs.

We stand ready to support Africa in the short term and for the long haul. We are ready to deploy up to $50 billion over five years in projects to help with adjustment costs that Africa will face as it deals with the knock-on effects of Covid-19, long after the current storm subsides. 

But more support will be needed. Let’s lift all sanctions, for now. Even in wartime, ceasefires are called for humanitarian reasons. In such situations, there is a time to pause for relief materials to reach affected populations. The novel coronavirus is a war against all of us. All lives matter.

For this reason, we must avoid fiscal distancing at this time. A stitch in time will save nine.  

Social distancing is imperative now. Fiscal distancing is not. 

*Akinwumi Adesina is the President of the African Development Bank. He was formerly Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and and is the 2017 World Food Prize laureate. The views expressed are solely those of the author. Click here to read the full OpEd on CNN.com

0
Read More
African Development Bank Group approves Gender Equality Trust Fund and Risk-Sharing Mechanism to improve women’s economic empowerment in Africa
April 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group have approved a new Gender Equality Trust Fund (GETF) aimed at pushing forward gender equality and women’s empowerment across the continent.

Funded by donors, the GETF will support the delivery and scale-up of the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme and promote gender transformative lending and non-lending operations. It is the first thematic fund on gender in the Bank Group’s history. The Fund will be established for an initial period of 10 years.

AFAWA is the Bank’s flagship pan-African initiative which aims to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa. Through AFAWA, the Bank is spearheading a major push to unlock women’s entrepreneurial capacity and economic participation for maximum development impact.

Also on Tuesday 31 March, the Board of Directors of the Bank approved a Risk-Sharing Mechanism – an innovative financial instrument to de-risk women-empowered businesses, enhance their profile with banks and support them to grow and thrive as entrepreneurs.

Anchor investors in the GETF are the governments of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

“It’s a great day for us as a Bank. It is a great day for the continent and the women of Africa as this facility provides innovative ways to tackle the access to finance challenges for African women business owners,” said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.

The Africa Guarantee Fund (AGF) has been chosen as the first implementing partner to facilitate access to finance for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). AGF is a pan-African entity that provides financial institutions with guarantees and other financial products to support SMEs in Africa. AGF has a network spread out over 42 African countries and 150-plus financial institutions, which AFAWA will leverage. This first transaction is expected to unlock up to $2 billion in credit for women-empowered businesses across the continent.

Vanessa Moungar, Bank Director, Gender, Women and Civil Society, described the approval as “the largest effort ever to bridge the gap in access to finance for women in Africa’s history” and said the Fund’s resources and the Risk-Sharing Mechanism would prioritize women’s economic empowerment and high-impact women’s initiatives.

Moungar said the partnership with AGF is a starting point for mobilizing other financial institutions and increasing access to finance for women entrepreneurs on the continent.Apart from the G7 donors and the Netherlands, other countries are showing strong interest in contributing to the initiative, including Rwanda and Sweden. The Bank Group will continue to mobilize resources in order to unlock $5 billion worth of financing for women-empowered businesses in Africa. AFAWA is also an implementing partner of the Women Entrepreneurship Finance (We-Fi) Initiative.

*AFDB

0
Read More
1 2 3 4 5 20