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Kaberuka disappointed with international response, calls for African solidarity in fighting back Ebola
October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rebranding_-_Africa_-_article1 (1)“Ebola is first and foremost our problem. Before relying on international aid, we must first encourage Africans to take action. I therefore call for African solidarity on this issue.” These were the words of Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, during the Rebranding Africa Forum held in Brussels, Belgium, on Saturday, October 18. The event, which focused on the theme of “What price for Africa’s emergence?”, was organised by the pan-African magazine Notre Afrik. The Ebola outbreak was naturally high on the agenda, dominating discussions throughout the Forum. The Bank President talked at length about the epidemic facing West Africa, and the topic also prevailed during plenary sessions and press conferences attended by representatives from international and African media, based in Europe and Africa. Kaberuka stressed the importance of avoiding panic, assessing the situation with a cool head, and quashing unfounded rumours about the epidemic’s supposed threat to everything that Africa has achieved in recent decades. According to the President of the AfDB, the crisis has reached its current scale not only because of poor healthcare systems in the affected countries (following successive crises), but also because of the international community’s failure to take swift action. “Ebola has hit an already weakened region, and this is why the epidemic is on such a grand scale. For this very reason, I am disappointed by the response of the international community. To put it simply, the world failed to target enough resources when the outbreak was at an early stage,” Kaberuka told the media. Emergence will not happen on its own “Having visited Sierra Leone and Liberia in person, I found countries that had been abandoned to fend for themselves, with closed borders and suspended air travel,” Kaberuka continued. “The poor state of the local health services and the disappointing response have exacerbated the situation. But now that this has become an international crisis, resources are starting to arrive. We know what we need to do, we have the resources to do it, and we know how to beat the Ebola epidemic,” he said, with a note of optimism. Discussing the topic of Africa’s emergence during the closing session of the Forum, Kaberuka talked at length about the conditions required to achieve this goal. In his view, these include fighting inequality, promoting greater inclusion, and managing the challenges and contradictions inherent in the continent’s socio-economic development more intelligently. “These are the issues we need to tackle to encourage emergence. Growth is a means to an end, and a condition. It is not an end in itself. It must lead to economic transformation. This, in turn, will lead to emergence. Emergence will not happen on its own. It requires effort and determination,” Kaberuka continued. The AfDB President listed several conditions required to encourage emergence, including the creation of stable institutions, the development of infrastructure, and the promotion of regional integration.

  *AFDB]]>

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AfDB approves US $40-million 10-year Line of Credit to East African Development Bank to fund regional projects
October 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

downloadThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group on Wednesday, October 15 in Abidjan approved a US $40-million 10-year Line of Credit (LoC) for a pipeline of projects covering various economic sectors (agro/food, infrastructure, manufacturing, education sectors) in the East African Community (EAC) countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The projects aim to promote economic growth. The East African Development Bank (EADB) has a project pipeline totaling US $361 million comprising 49 projects which are at various stages of appraisal. A dedicated sub-pipeline linked to AfDB’s LoC has been selected. EADB intends to tap into both debt and equity sources from both development finance institutions (DFIs) and commercial financial markets for long-term financing to obtain the remaining funding required. In 2013, the Bank also approved a US $24-million equity investment in EADB (US $14 million “Callable” and US $10 million “Paid-in”) to further strengthen EADB’s capital. The equity was supported by a US $0.9 million technical assistance (TA) package to strengthen EADB’s operations. Implementation of the TA package will buttress both the earlier equity injection and this LoC. The Bank is a long-term shareholder in EADB and has provided 7 LoCs over time to EADB. EADB has effectively implemented a turnaround strategy since 2008/9. As part of this, it has successfully strengthened its policies and internal structures and streamlined its portfolio, as a result of which it has managed to maintain yearly increasing profits since 2009. EADB is now in the third ‘growth’ phase of its Strategic Plan, under which it aims to increase its market position and portfolio. It has a strong project pipeline requiring external funding resources. The AfDB’s LoC plays an important catalytic role in this regards, and underscores AfDB strong confidence in the EADB as a key regional DFI promoting economic growth and regional integration. EADB is currently rated “B” by Fitch and “Ba1” by Moody’s, with stable outlook.  These ratings reflect the institutions’ stable financial profile. *Source AFDB]]>

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Kaberuka tells Washington audience: “I am bullish on Africa” despite Ebola
October 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Donald Kaberuka Donald Kaberuka[/caption] As health organisations warn of a possible pandemic as a result of West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka called for more aid, stronger infrastructure and recovery for the hardest-hit nations. Using this week’s annual World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings as a platform, Kaberuka said, “I am convinced Ebola will be contained in the current epicentre provided we use all the means at our disposal.” In a series of high-level talks about debt reduction, borrowing policies and fiscal flexibility, Ebola took centre stage. Finance Ministers, Central Bankers and other top officials solidified plans to beat back the disease. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde gave approval for the hardest-hit nations, which include Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, to increase their fiscal deficits. “For once, just for once, it’s absolutely fine,” she said. “There are circumstances where we are capable of revisiting traditional standards.” It is a move Kaberuka welcomed. If the economies of those fragile nations hit by Ebola are stressed even further, the AfDB President warned, things will only get worse. “What I fear most is the impact of panic psychosis on the part of investors” to these nations. One way to stop the panic on the part of investors, tourists, health workers and everyone else is to stop the “doomsday scenarios,” Kaberuka told Al Jazeera English television Thursday evening. “For the international community to react [to Ebola] five months late is problematic,” the AfDB President said. But he added that the mismanagement of the disease cannot be the new narrative of Africa. During a talk at the Center for Global Development, Kaberuka told a packed room “Africa is not simply 54 countries. It is more complex.” The continent is also more complex than the Ebola outbreak that has captured the world’s attention. Even though Kaberuka said that the initial response was “too slow, too little and too late,” he added that he remained optimistic that recovery is still a very realistic goal. “In spite of Ebola,” Kaberuka said, “I am bullish on Africa because the fundamentals are strong.” The World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings will continue through the weekend. *AFDB]]>

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AfDB poised to enhance access to additional climate finance for African countries
September 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

download (3)To meet the full scale of the global climate challenge and seize the opportunities at hand, domestic efforts must be scaled up and simultaneously leveraged through an international framework that provides incentives. Combined, accelerated action and increased ambition will help advance sustainable development, especially in Africa which suffers most from the effects of climate change. Therefore, discussions at very high level took place on Monday, September 22, on the eve of the UN Climate Summit in New York. The African Development Bank (AfDB) participated in high-level meetings about financing opportunities for a climate-smart Africa including Clim-Dev Special Fund and UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative. The Clim-Dev Africa programme convened a high-level discussion “Moving against the tide: Africa rising to seize climate change opportunities in water, food and energy security”, chaired by Carlos Lopez, Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Africa, and moderated by Jakaya Kikwete, President of the Republic of Tanzania and Chairman of Committee of Heads of States and Governments on climate change. Formers Presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Mary Robinson of Ireland and both UN special envoys on climate change also attended. The representatives of African countries, including President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, recognized the global efforts made to improve access to climate finance in Africa and that significant results have been registered in recent years. However the current financial flows remain insufficient to meet Africa’s actual needs and African countries called for increased access climate finance. African representatives also insisted on the need for action towards securing a legally-binding global climate agreement on curbing carbon emissions at COP21 in December 2015 in Paris, with a binding effect from 2020. They also explored the potential for a nexus approach in assuring sustainable water, food and energy security for a climate-smart continent and reflected on how to make the Clim-Dev Africa Special Fund (CDSF), hosted by the AfDB, an enabler to building climate resilience on the continent. The CDSF is now effective with support from the European Union (EU), Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Nordic Development Fund totaling over €28 million.   Alex Rugamba, Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department at the AfDB, insisted “climate change is not just a threat; it is an opportunity for the continent to sustainably grow cleaner and greener.” He added, “many African countries have already embarked on this nexus approach, in the form of green economic development strategies.”   Also on Monday, the UN-led initiative Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) held a whole series of high-level discussions on its implementation. Partners of the initiative, including EU and US Power Africa, announced new commitments to catalyze investments to halve the global energy poverty. They previewed a plan to raise more than US $120 billion. In his intervention, Alex Rugamba, from the AfDB, host of the SE4ALL Africa Hub and co-founding partner of Power Africa, underlined the importance of the announced commitments and acknowledged the progress made by a growing number of African countries toward SE4ALL objectives.   The AfDB is playing a key role as financier, partner and advisor to African countries to assist them in enhancing access to available resources, as well as to capitalize on future financing opportunities. The mobilization of US $768 million for mitigation in 2013 – more than any other institution on the continent – contributes to sustainably address infrastructure and energy needs on the continent.     Technical contact: Tom Owiyo, Principal Economist, Department of Special Programs, t.owiyo@afdb.org Media contact: Penelope Pontet de Fouquières, Communications, Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, AfDB, p.pontetdefouquieres@afdb.org ]]>

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Gearing up for the grand finale of AfDB’s 50th Anniversary
August 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

indexThe African Development Bank (AfDB) marks its Golden Jubilee this year. The grand finale of the year-long celebrations is scheduled to take place November 4, 2014 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The Bank’s 50th Anniversary coincides with the development finance institution’s return to its headquarters in Abidjan, after over a decade of relocation to Tunis, and gives the celebrations a double significance. As it looks back on the past 50 years, the African Development Bank has much to celebrate. Since its inception it has marked four milestone celebrations. It was in November 1964, that the Bank held its first Board of Governors’ Meeting in Lagos, Nigeria. That was barely four years after most of the founding nations had attained their political independence. Today, worthy tributes are paid to the founding fathers for their vision for United Africa. Monrovia, Tunis, Khartoum all played important roles in the establishment of AfDB, but the Bank’s existence officially commenced with the inaugural Board of Governors meeting in Lagos in November 1964. The Agreement establishing the African Development Bank was actually signed on August 4, 1963 in Khartoum by the Finance Ministers of the then 23 independent African countries. Fifty years on, and from a very modest beginning, the Bank has grown in stature and maturity, in brand and credibility and its achievements as the continent’s largest financial institution have gone beyond African borders. The 50 years of the Bank’s continuity has become synonymous with 50 years of sustainability and Africa’s economic resilience.   When the Bank marked its 10th Anniversary celebrations in 1974 in Rabat, Morocco, the Bank’s cumulative commitment was barely US $125 million. But there was hope for renewal that year, with decisions relating to the second capital increase and the kick-off of African Development Fund (ADF) operations. The Bank’s 20th Anniversary in Abidjan in 1984 was closely followed by the 25th Anniversary, or the Silver Jubilee, in Abuja in 1989. While the 10th Anniversary celebration saw a Bank in its infancy, the 1984 and 1989 events represented, according to one Bank economist, the take-off stage of the institution. In May 1983, in Nairobi, Kenya, 17 non-regional countries attended their first AfDB Group Annual Meetings as full members. In fact, as a result of the admission of non-regional membership, the Bank’s authorized capital had increased from US $2.5 billion over the preceding 20 years, to US $6.3 billion by the 20th Anniversary. Barely four years later in Cairo, Egypt, in 1987, the Bank had successfully concluded a 200% increase and, by its 25th Anniversary in Abuja Nigeria, the Bank’s attention turned to the Committee of Ten, a group of eminent persons reflecting on the future of the Bank. The Golden Jubilee is therefore a one-of-a-kind celebration. It is not a Silver Jubilee nor is it an Annual Board of Governors Meeting. Rather, the Golden Jubilee is a rare celebration of the African Development Bank’s past, present and future. In 2014, the Bank’s Golden Jubilee provides all stakeholders and friends of the Bank an opportunity to look back with satisfaction through the landmark moments of its past 50 years and to look ahead to the future of the institution and its role in the development of the African continent. Related:AfDB at 50: Paving the way to Africa’s economic and social transformation *AFDB
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$210 million response: AfDB steps up efforts to curb Ebola outbreak in West Africa
August 21, 2014 | 1 Comments

AfDB President Donald Kaberuka AfDB President Donald Kaberuka[/caption] The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Monday, August 18 in Abidjan, approved a US $60 million grant investment as part of a $210 million package for immediate implementation to help strengthen West Africa’s public health systems in response to the Ebola crisis. The Bank’s Board, traditionally in recess during the month of August, convened an emergency meeting demonstrating the urgency of the situation and the Bank’s commitment to curb this global public health emergency. With over 2,000 cases and 1,145 people confirmed dead, this is a wakeup call for the international community that this tragedy could have been prevented if investments were directed towards building stronger health systems. The disease outbreak originated in Guinea in March 2014 and rapidly spread to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. “This is one of the most complicated health crises we have ever known. We are not simply dealing with a health problem but with the breakdown of entire health systems in some of the countries in the (West Africa) region,” AfDB President Donald Kaberuka told Executive Directors in Abidjan who participated in the Board meeting through video and telephone link-ups. This grant is part of a $210 million package which includes $150 million in both loans and grants, along with the $60 million grant, which has been awarded to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordinating Center located in Conakry, Guinea, given their extensive experience with global epidemics. The $60 million sum includes four emergency assistance grants of $1 million to each of the four countries affected by Ebola to help them contain the disease. The projects will support ongoing efforts to reduce morbidity, mortality from Ebola and help break the chain of transmission of the disease by strengthening sub-regional public health systems. It will support West Africa’s Ebola disease outbreak response plan from August to December 2014. In the long term (2015-2017) the Bank’s assistance will support overall strengthening of public health systems in West African countries to facilitate early detection and response to potential threats arising from epidemic and pandemic prone diseases. The proposed project critically seeks to respond to the specific needs identified by the expert community in response to this category 3 world emergency epidemic. Board members commended the speed with which the Bank designed the project. They emphasized the need for close monitoring and follow-up mechanisms for effective implementation. The Bank’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nelly Iteba, said current figures on the impact of the disease may not adequately capture the scale of the epidemic in the West African region considering the difficulty encountered by health officials in collecting data in such a huge crisis situation. She said the Bank had taken adequate measures to protect its staff and commended the Ivorian Government for the effective measures put in place to protect people from infection. Against all odds (high fatality rate and no tested vaccine), the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) can be managed with strict adherence to standard infection control practices, basic medical equipment, and necessary medications. For instance, availability of sterilization equipment, intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, antibiotics, ventilators, powerful vasoactive medications can improve patient care and save lives. Also, skilled health professionals equipped with personal protective equipment can make all the difference in containing the spread of EVD and the availability of modern diagnostic equipment can help health workers with early detection and case management. “Failure to contain the spread of Ebola is an example of the failure of health systems in Africa, not just the lethal nature of the disease”,said Dr. Agnes Soucat, Director for Human Development at the African Development Bank.“This is why we are investing in mobile technology deployment (m-health) and building human resources for health.” As such, the AfDB will focus its efforts on strengthening public health systems which include building human resource capacity; epidemic preparedness and response; m-health and strengthening governance and regional institutions. The AfDB’s project will be coordinated by the WHO sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordinating Center, based in Conakry, along with the West African Health Organization (WAHO). A joint memorandum will be signed between the Bank, WHO and WAHO regional organization representing the Governments of Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Mali, Senegal and Gambia for intervention practices and management procedures. In May, the Bank provided more than US $3 million in response to a call by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to fight Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and neighbouring countries. The AfDB Board also approved Guinea’s 2012-2016 Country Strategy Paper (CSP) as well as an addendum on the country’s eligibility to benefit from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility Resources provided under the 13th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), the Bank Group’s concessional support window. *AFDB  ]]>

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Climate change puts decades of development at risk in Africa: Continent needs market and financial mechanisms fit for purpose
July 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

index.jpg 1Climate change threatens to undo decades of earnest effort to develop Africa unless sufficient investment can be mobilized to spur sustainable development and make the continent more resilient.  This was the message delivered at the 6th Africa Carbon Forum held July 2-4 to about 400 participants who gathered to share and learn the latest about market and financial opportunities associated with the international response to climate change  The forum was opened by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Namibia, Uaheka Herunga, who stressed that the question now is not whether carbon markets will continue, but how they can be improved, and whether new mechanisms should be developed. In the context of the 2015 Paris agreement, the Minister urged participants to “send a strong message to governments around the world that the carbon market can make an important contribution to the objective of managing the challenge posed by climate change.”  “Climate change will force a steep ramping up of investment in Africa from both public and private sources to move the continent along a clean, secure, low-carbon path to development,” said Hugh Sealy, Chair of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). “It’s crucial that the market and funding mechanisms on offer are right for Africa, and likewise that African governments provide a welcoming, reliable environment for investment.”  Countries are committed to crafting a comprehensive climate change agreement by the end of 2015 in Paris, to take effect in 2020. A big part of any agreement will have to address ways to mobilize the estimated USD 100 billion annually needed to mitigate climate change and adapt to its inevitable effects.  “The private sector and governments in Africa need to speak up now, loud and clear, to make sure an effective, ambitious agreement is reached in Paris, and to make sure that the market and funding instruments now taking shape are fit for Africa’s purpose,” said Dr. Sealy.  “The ACF provided a platform to assess both the challenges and the opportunities for mobilizing climate finance on the continent. We know that private sector investment in climate action is vital for transformational impact; and this is why the AfDB with its development partners is strongly committed to promoting investment along with improving the enabling environment for enhanced private sector engagement on the continent,” said Kurt Lonsway, Manager of the AfDB Environment and Climate Change Division. The AfDB has been a co-organizer of the ACF since the creation of the forum.  In addition to the CDM, participants in this year’s event considered a range of ways that countries and multilateral development banks intend to target their climate change investments, such as through approved Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions and through funds like the World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development, which uses the CDM’s monitoring, reporting and verification features to ensure results from energy-access projects in least developed countries.  The Africa Carbon Forum, which was preceded by a two-day training session of African CDM designated national authorities, was organized under the umbrella of the Nairobi Framework. Launched in 2006 by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Nairobi Framework aims to assist developing countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa, to improve their level of participation in the CDM.  The Framework partners are the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) along with the UNEP Risø Centre, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).  Quotes from partners: What the co-hosts say about Climate Finance in Africa  “Africa deserves to go down a clean, low-emitting path to development, one that delivers a good and healthy quality of life for the continent’s people. I think the carbon market and market-based tools like the Clean Development Mechanism have begun to show the great potential that market approaches and the evolving financial instruments can unleash.” – John Kilani, Director, Sustainable Development Mechanisms Programme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat  “Swift climate action is vital to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Countries in Africa see these destructive effects on their economies every day, threatening to roll back progress. As Africa grows, so it needs to grow clean and build lasting jobs. We won’t see the necessary investments in clean technologies without a robust price on carbon. This helps drive investments away from fossil fuels and towards lower carbon energy and transport solutions, and climate-smart agriculture. That’s why we are encouraging governments and companies to introduce a price on carbon.” – Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice-President and Special Envoy for Climate Change  “Again this year the Africa Carbon Forum has shown itself to be the place to be to discuss climate finance and mitigation opportunities on the continent. The last days have clearly shown that there is a deep-felt wish to embark on a low-carbon development path. Further, the ACF also reveals that the international community must build on the success of current financial instruments, institutional experiences and national capacities to create new and successful financial instruments, ones that will benefit the continent further and promote sustainable, low-carbon development through nationally prioritized mitigation actions.” – John Christensen, Head of UNEP DTU, formerly UNEP Risø Centre   “As governments prepare for the Paris Climate Summit in 2015, the Africa Carbon Forum in Windhoek took stock of the important new developments in carbon markets and climate finance – and what they mean for Africa. Businesses, government and financial institutions explored how to leverage private investment with innovative models that blend voluntary markets, climate financing structures and CDM. It was encouraging to see a strong interest in continuing the progress of carbon market solutions for Africa.” – Dirk Forrister, President and CEO of IETA    ]]>

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One billion people, one billion opportunities: AfDB approves its first Human Capital Strategy
May 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

Education-gallery-29-5-2014The Board of Executive Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved on May 28, 2014 in Tunis the AfDB’s first Human Capital Strategy (HCS). The strategy paves the way for Bank investments in areas such as education, skills development,health, science, technology, innovation, social protection, safety nets and youthemployment. Investing in one billion people in Africa is at the heart of this four-year strategy. This vision is to build skills and make the most efficient use of new technologies to improve competitiveness and create jobs. As the operational framework for the Bank’s newly approved ten-year strategy, the HCS will serve as backbone to support the Bank’s investments in all sectors of development. “One billion people, one billion opportunities: Building Human Capital in Africa” is the result of a broad based consultation within and outside the Bank involving governments,private sector, NGOs, academia, and civil society. While Africa is on the rise, the continent is faced with challenges of rapid economic growth, poverty, inequality and striking disadvantages for youth and women. Overcoming major problems such as low quality education, skills mismatch, poor service delivery, low productivity in the informal sector, unemployment and underemployment is critical to growth. “This strategy signals the African Development Bank’s commitment to invest in Africa’s greatest asset – its people. Without quick and decisive action to invest in human capital, African countries risk depriving a generation from opportunities to develop their potential, escape poverty and support the continent on a path of inclusive growth and economic transformation”, said Dr. Agnes Soucat, AfDB’s Director for Human Development. As part of the HCS, the Bank proposes a New Education Model in Africa (NEMA) which presents a radical shift from the brick and mortar approach to education to a model that supports critical thinking, the application of cutting-edge education technologies, and public-private partnerships (PPPs). “The HCS operationally consolidates and scales up the Bank’s interventions in building human capital in Africa. The success of the strategy rests in its implementation”, said Mr. Emmanuel-Ebot Mbi, AfDB’s first Vice President & Chief Operating Officer who chaired the Board of Executive Directors. *AFDB]]>

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Tracking AfDB’s footprint in Africa’s development:over 4,501 projects amounting to US $118.7 billion from 1967 to 2013
May 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

 download (2)The African Development Bank Group’s 2014 Annual Meetings provides an opportunity to trace the institution’s development journey in line with the meetings theme: “The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.” The financial presentation of the Bank’s operations provided a fertile ground to assess its accomplishment and envision the way forward. In the joint presentation to hundreds of participants, the Bank’s Finance Vice-President, Charles Boamah, and Treasury Director, Pierre Van Peteghem, described a Bank that has grown from a few thousand dollars and less than a dozen staff to a multilateral development institution whose footprints are unmistakable in the nooks and crannies of its 54 member states. According to the report, the Bank has approved over 4,501 projects amounting to US $118.7 billion from 1967 when it commenced operations to the end of 2013. Infrastructure development, Africa’s Achilles’ heel, accounted for the largest share of the commitments with 1,404 projects worth US $45,455 million followed by 550 Multisector projects estimated at US $17,212 million. Some 498 “Other approvals” (Include HIPC Debt Relief, Equity Participation, Guarantee, Loan Reallocations, Post Conflict Country Facility and Special Fund for Water) account for US $14,512 million. The environment had 22 projects worth US $365 million compared to 681 social projects worth US $10,251 million; 285 Finance projects estimated at US $13,013 million; 910 Agriculture & rural development projects worth US $13,001 million; 148 Industry, mining, and quarrying projects worth US $4,875 million, and three urban development projects estimated at $4.4 million. Experts say more than the amount of resources committed, the multiple sectors covered is a clear demonstration of the Bank’s ambition to accompany its regional member countries. However, the year 2009 stands out as one of the Bank’s finest moment when it implemented the innovative counter cyclical resource mobilization mechanism to rescue countries that were negatively affected by the crisis. In line with the Ten-Year Strategy, the Bank has launched a massive infrastructure development programme to the tune of US $1.8 billion in transport, US $3.2 billion approved for infrastructure in 2013 alone;  US $882 million in energy; US $462 million in water and US $54 million in communications. Thus, AfDB which has emerged as the largest external financier for infrastructure in Africa took the business to the next level with the establishment of the Africa50 Fund to deliver infrastructure through a new global partnership platform championing projects that tackle Africa’s infrastructure deficit. The Fund which aims to mobilise up to US $100 billion in the first instance, can be a game changer in Africa’s quest for development. These accomplishments have helped to advertise the Bank, to consolidate its triple “A” ratings as well as bolster its attractiveness to potential new members. South Sudan and Turkey joined recently, while Luxemburg is on course to come on board. In addition to the many trust funds set up by member countries within the Bank, South Africa, Angola, Libya and Lesotho have joined the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the group, thereby boosting its development resources.]]>

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Africa should focus on getting things done to mitigate investment risks: Kaberuka
May 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

imagesThe President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, has said that for Africa to reduce the perception of risk in infrastructure investment, much focus is needed to get things done and move to another level of development. He was speaking on Tuesday, May 20 during a high level panel titled ”Reducing Perceived Riskiness of Investing in Africa’s Infrastructure” at the Bank’s 49th Annual Meetings in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. “African assets have been undervalued because Africa’s risk has been exaggerated, thus that seems to be changing and I think the financial crisis has accelerated the change. All we have to do is to fight and mitigate the risk,” Kaberuka noted. The AfDB President highlighted some of the infrastructure projects the Bank is financing, saying that it is time to focus on commercially viable projects that are already in place. “Instead of focusing on what is not working, why we don’t focus on how to make things work? We should spend more time showing things that are happening in Africa,” Kaberuka emphasised. He explained that AfDB created a vehicle for funding African infrastructure called ‘Africa50’ which sets a platform for the next 50 years in African development to increase the rate of infrastructure delivery in Africa. In 2012, African Heads of States in their Declaration on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) called for innovative solutions to facilitate and accelerate infrastructure delivery in Africa. In response, and after broad consultations with African stakeholders, AfDB proposed the establishment of a new delivery vehicle called Africa50. Africa50 is the result of experience and innovation. The vehicle aims at mobilizing private financing to accelerate the speed of infrastructure delivery in Africa, thereby creating a new platform for Africa’s growth. Africa50 will focus on high-impact national and regional projects in the energy, transport, ICT and water sectors. “This Africa50 is open to African investors and it will be an African-driven and -owned vehicle, but open to foreign investors. We are looking for transformative projects which are priority to Africa. They should be commercially viable, make sense and give a good return,” he noted. Africa50 is to be structured as a development-oriented yet commercially operated entity. It will be complementary to and legally independent of existing development finance bodies in Africa. At the event, panelists discussed ways to reduce the perception of risk in Africa and responded to a wide range of questions from the audience regarding the matter. According to Makhtar Diop, Vice-President, World Bank Africa Region, there are many things happening in Africa that are changing the perception of risk. The main important thing is to accelerate investment in Africa and this will be done by telling real and specific stories that are changing the continent for the better,” he said. Diop noted that there is a perception of investment risk in Africa by foreign direct investors and it’s time for the continent to assess the risk in a specified and transparent way. “We should assess various types of risks, ranging from political, operationalisation, consumption, competition, financial, demand-and-supply type of risk in transparent way,” he added. According to the World Bank, infrastructure needs in Sub-Saharan Africa are estimated at US $100 billion annually. While private investment has been robust, with the heaviest concentration of funds going to South Africa and focused largely on telecommunications, the funding gap remains at US $31 billion. Analysis points to a high perception of risk as one of the major challenges for investment. *Source AFDB]]>

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AfDB Levies US $17 Million in Financial Penalties in Corruption Case
March 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, Technip S.A. and JGC Corp. agree to pay the equivalent of US $17 million in financial penalties as part of Negotiated Resolution Agreements with the African Development Bank following admission of corrupt practices by affiliated companies in relation to the award of services contracts for liquefied natural gas production plants on Bonny Island, Nigeria, from 1995 until 2004. download (6)The African Development Bank Group on Friday, March 21st, 2014, announced the conclusion of Negotiated Resolution Agreements with Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, Technip S.A. and JGC Corp. following the companies’ admission of corrupt practices by affiliated companies in a Bank-financed project. As part of the Negotiated Resolution Agreement, the Bank’s Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department (IACD) levies financial penalties against the companies of US $6.5 million, US $ 5.3 million and US $5.2 million, respectively. The funds will flow to projects preventing and combating corruption in the Bank’s Member Countries on the African continent. In addition to the payment of financial penalties, the Negotiated Resolution Agreements foresee the debarment for a period of three years of TSKJ – Serviços de Engenharia Lda; TSKJ II – Construções Internacionais Sociedade Unipessola Lda; and LNG – Serviços and Gestão de Projetos Lda., based in Madeira, Portugal. These companies are eligible for cross debarment under the April 2010 Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions entered into by the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The Portuguese entities affiliated to Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, Technip S.A. and JGC Corp. played an active role in funneling bribes to public officials. “This settlement demonstrates a strong commitment from the African Development Bank to ensure that development funds are used for their intended purpose,” said Anna Bossman, Director of IACD. “At the same time, it is a clear signal to multinational companies that corrupt practices in Bank-financed projects will be aggressively investigated and severely sanctioned. These ground-breaking Negotiated Resolution Agreements substantially advance the Bank’s anti-corruption and governance agenda, a strategic priority of our institution.” In 1990, Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, Technip S.A. and JGC Corp. formed the above companies as joint-ventures together with a fourth multinational engineering services provider for the purposes of bidding for engineering,  procurement and construction services contracts for liquefied natural gas production plants on Bonny Island in Nigeria. From 1995 to 2004, the joint-venture companies made improper payments totaling US $180 million in return for the award of these services contracts. The African Development Bank Group had contributed US $100 million in financing to the overall contract volume of US $6 billion. The Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department of the African Development Bank Group is responsible for preventing, deterring and investigating allegations of corruption, fraud and other sanctionable practices in Bank Group-financed operations. The investigation by the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department was conducted by Johann Benohr with the support of Ibrahim Pam and Funmi Akinosi. For more information visit http://www.afdb.org/about-us/structure/integrity-and-anti-corruption/ African Development Bank staff and the general public can use IACD’s secured hotlines to report sanctionable practices within the Bank or operations financed by the Bank Group. Secured telephone: +1 (770) 776-5658 Secured email server: investigations@iacd-afdb.org Mail correspondence should be marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and sent to: African Development Bank Temporary Relocation Agency Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department BP 323 – 1002 Tunis-Belvedere, Tunisia.]]>

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AfDB to focus on Africa’s next 50 years at 2014 Annual Meetings in Kigali
March 16, 2014 | 1 Comments

ADB's Donald Kaberuka ADB’s Donald Kaberuka[/caption] The 49th Annual Meetings for the African Development Bank and the 40th meetings of its soft loan affiliate, the African Development Fund (ADF), will focus on the theme“The next 50 Years: The Africa we want”. The event, where key decisions about the Bank Group are made each year, is attended by Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from the Bank’s 54 regional member countries (RMCs), and attracts more than 2,500 delegates representing multilateral finance institutions, development agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, civil society and the media. This year’s meetings will take place from Monday, May 19 to Friday, May, 23, 2014 at the Kigali-Serena Annual Meetings Village. The African Development Bank Group will look towards the next half century and what it hopes to achieve on the continent during its 2014 Annual Meetings in Kigali, Rwanda. From May 19, a series of high-level seminars and side events will address the continent’s economic, social and political issues, and seek solutions to ensure a better future for Africans. The gathering will review the Bank’s 2013 operations and its 2014 development funding portfolio, as well as the objectives for the African region in key areas such as regional integration and trade, infrastructure, private sector development, job creation, governance and green growth. The African Development Bank celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, with events throughout the year, culminating in a week-long celebration in November in Abidjan, to coincide with the Bank’s return to its official headquarters in Côte d’Ivoire. The AfDB, Africa’s premier development finance institution, was established in 1964 to mobilize resources for the economic and social development of its regional member countries (RMCs) by focusing on poverty reduction and promoting sustainable growth. The Bank has approved 4,001 loans and grants totalling UA 67.22 billion (about US $104 billion) to its RMCs from 1967 to December 31, 2013. For more information, visit the Annual Meetings website: http://www.afdb.org/am. Information on registrations for delegates and the media will be available soon.]]>

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