African Union Commission calls for further financial input for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF|
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 5, 2019/ — The 29th Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund held at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has ended with calls for increased investments to accelerate the closure of Africa’s infrastructure gap.
The meeting, held on 28 June 2019, was hosted by the AUC and chaired by KfW Development Bank (Germany). Topics discussed included the NEPAD-IPPF Independent Review report, the introduction of reimbursable grants as part of the new business model, the mid-year progress report, updates on continental infrastructure initiatives, and adoption of a proposed joint AUC/AUDA/AfDB Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy.
Michael Andres, the Oversight Committee Chairman, commended the achievements of NEPAD-IPPF and noted that more resources are required given the increasing demands being made on the fund.
“The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund must continue to focus on key priorities, such as PIDA Projects to support the African 2063 Agenda.” Andres said.
While speaking on the Fund’s progress in the first semester of 2019, African Development Bank Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Amadou Oumarou urged participants to consider the continent’s enormous infrastructure needs.
“New contributions from Spain (Euro 3 million) and the African Development Bank (UA 3 million) are indications of confidence in the Fund’s ability to successfully fulfil its mandate, and also recognition that the NEPAD-IPPF is playing a critical role in infrastructure development in Africa. It is therefore expedient for (the Fund) to be further strengthened with the necessary resources to enable it to meet its objectives and mandate,” Oumarou said.
The meeting convened over 30 participants including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives from the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River Basin organizations and regional corridors authorities.
For AUC Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, “The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and Africa’s infrastructure priorities cannot be implemented without adequate resources committed to the NEPAD-IPPF, a critical instrument to prepare high quality bankable regional infrastructure projects across Africa”.
Providing updates on the Fund’s operational performance NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager Mike Salawou, stated that cumulative contributions by donor partners including the African Development Bank amounted to $102 million, out of which $96.1 million had been committed to approve 91 projects. As at June 2019, 60 studies have been completed, 9 cancelled and 22 are on-going, he noted.
The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF. In addition, the Spanish Government announced a new contribution of EUR 3 million to NEPAD-IPPF in May 2019.
Among the studies completed by the Facility, 30 have so far reached financial close and attracted financing of $24.2 billion for physical implementation of power plants, bridges, ports, roads, hydropower schemes, and ICT projects. Of these successful projects, 17 have been constructed, 11 are under construction and two are yet to commence.
“While disbursements of committed funds on supported projects have reached a record, beyond that and without any new contributions to the Fund, NEPAD-IPPF will not be in position to support additional project preparation activities, therefore, there is a need for urgent replenishment of the Special Fund,” Salawou stressed.
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AU Summit: President Adesina to lead African Development Bank’s delegation, Continental Free Trade Area talks to top summit agenda
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee|
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina will next week lead a delegation of top Bank officials to the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.
High on the agenda of the July 7-8 summit are discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). President Adesina will meet African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in several executive discussions, including the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.
President Adesina will share the Bank’s vision on empowering African women, and on the AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative.
On the sidelines, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s 2063 vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent.
African Development Bank to establish Central African headquarters in Cameroon
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
The African Development Bank, AfDB will in the days ahead establish its central headquarters in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.
This is the substance of an agreement signed this morning at the Ministry of external relations between the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.
Signing in for Cameroon was the Minister of external relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Vice President of the African Development Bank, Khaled Sherif signed on behalf of the banking institution.
According to Khaled Sherif, Cameroon was chosen in the central African Sub region as site for the implantation of the ADB regional headquarters because it suits the established criteria, one of which include hospitality.
“The government of Cameroon freely gave us a piece of land and we intend to work here over the long run” Khaled said at the end of the signing ceremony.
“The new regional office for development, integration and service delivery in Central Africa, like those established in Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa, aims to bring the Bank closer to its Member States,” a release from the AfDB reads.
The signature of this headquarters agreement, which comes almost two months after the approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, of the Regional Integration Strategy Document for Central Africa (DSIR), approving the Bank’s operations in this region over the 2019-2025 period, will strengthen the institution’s dialogue and support for the process of economic integration in Central Africa.
With some 44 active regional projects in the continent, amounting to nearly 632 billion CFA francs, or 1.1 billion US dollars, the AfDB seeks to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries thus contributing to poverty reduction.
This new regional office will help improve the efficiency of the Bank’s operations and deepen the dialogue between the Bank and all Central African countries.
Africa Investment Forum 2018: a new bold vision tilts capital flows into Africa
November 15, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Forum highlighted a solid pipeline of projects and wealth of opportunities ready for investors
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 14, 2018/ — “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others,” a saying goes. When African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina laid out his vision to tilt the flow of capital into Africa by convening the first transaction-based investment forum, many did not see what was coming ahead.
One year down the road, the verdict is undisputed.
The three-day Africa Investment Forum ended November 9th in the South African capital exceeding the expectations of its conveners – The African Development Bank. Beyond participants’ commendations, a preliminary review of the meeting leaves room for much optimism.
The Forum highlighted a solid pipeline of projects and wealth of opportunities ready for investors. After a final review of all Boardroom projects, investor interest stood at close to US$40 billion, the organizers said Wednesday.
Close to 300 institutional investors from 53 countries, including 23 non-African countries gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa from 7-9 November for the inaugural event.
“Africa is ahead of its time. Business as usual is no longer the norm…from now on it will be Business unusual. All is now set for global and regional investments to make a smooth landing into Africa. The Africa Investment Forum has turned the tide of investment into the continent,” Adesina said.
The value of boardroom projects tabled for discussion during the Forum stood at US$47 billion, up from US$40.4 billion announced on the eve of the closing. The updated figures following a final review indicated that investment interest was secured for 49 projects worth US$38.7 billion, up from US$32 billion
The projects ranged in diversity from infrastructure, Energy, Transport and Utilities, Industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms, Water and Sanitation, Funds/financial Services, Health, Education, Hospitality and Tourism, Housing, and Aviation. A total of 169 bilateral meetings took place in the Marketplace boardrooms. In addition, open marketplace B2B conversations went on throughout the three days.
Notable among the deals which secured investor interest are:
In the energy sector, 400 delegates convened for focused deliberations on regulations and policy issues for the construction of the second phase of a 450 MW Power Plant in Tunisia worth US$440 million. Agreements were reached on a number of action plans designed to accelerate regulatory reforms and to unlock bottlenecks that will help facilitate investments in a sector with a potential value of US$70 billion.
In Africa’s transportation and logistics sector, a major milestone was reached with the launch of “THELO DB,” a new partnership between THELO SA (of South Africa) and DEUTSCHE BAHN (of Germany). The partnership intervenes in the critical railway sector of Africa’s economy, which has an annual deficit of around US$62 billion.
A total of 1,914 out of 2,200 registered delegates attended the event, signifying strong interest in the Forum.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa; President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana attended the Forum. Other officials included the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo; the Prime Ministers of Rwanda, Edouard Ngirente and Cameroon, Philémon Yang, as well as ministers representing the Kingdom of Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Niger, and Gabon. In attendance also were Governors and Board members of the African Development Bank.
The main goal of the Africa Investment Forum is to catalyze investments into the continent through a unique marketplace platform designed to advance projects to bankable stages, raise capital, and accelerate the financial closure of deals.
Ringing endorsements came in from investors, multilateral development heads and key stakeholders. When a panel of investors and project sponsors was asked by African Development Bank Communication Director Victor Oladokun what they would change during the next Forum, the consensus was that the event had already achieved what it set out to do. For the first time ever, a platform had brought together all critical players under one roof – investors, project sponsors and government leaders.
According to Basil El Baz, CEO of Carbon Holdings, “I have never seen a conference like this. To the organizers, I say do not change a thing. Keep doing exactly what you are doing.”
Global financial institutions such as Africa Finance Corporation, Development Bank of South Africa, Africa 50, Afreximbank, European Investment Bank, Trade and Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, partnered with the African Development Bank to form a solid and strategic alliance around the new initiative.
The next edition of the Africa Investment Forum will take place in November 2019.
Adesina shares vision to transform Africa through investment not aid
November 12, 2018 | 0 Comments
President Cyril Ramaphosa officially opened the inaugural edition of the Africa Investment Forum on Thursday saying Africa was not only on the rise but Africa is on the move, referring to the continent as a destination for investments.
The Africa Investment Forum is an unprecedented gathering of pension funds, Sovereign wealth funds, capital markets, project sponsors, institutional and financial investors seeking to invest in Africa.
Describing Africa as the “next global frontier for investment,” Ramaphosa said: “May the deals be concluded. May we all be part of the deals that are going to be made here.”
Four African Heads of State – President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, made the trip to South Africa for the Forum. Other officials included the Vice President of Nigeria; the Prime Ministers of Rwanda, Edouard Ngirente and Cameroon, Philémon Yang, as well as ministers representing the Kingdom of Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Niger, and Gabon. In attendance also were Governors and Board members of the African Development Bank.
In his opening remarks, Adesina lauded the “impressive gathering” of stakeholders, indicating that their “presence here shows you care about Africa, and that you have confidence to take up more investments in Africa.”
Giving an overview of existing opportunities in the power and agriculture sectors, President Adesina said: “we always asked what’s the next China after China? Well, appropriately, China figured it out. It’s Africa.”
He acknowledged that Africa has massive infrastructure deficits, from ports to railways, roads, energy, and information and communication technology infrastructure needed to spur its competitiveness in global markets. The African development bank estimates the continent has a financing gap of $68-108 billion per year for infrastructure.
Adesina said, “But it’s all about how you see it: a glass half empty or a glass half full. Let’s see the challenges as a glass half full. That means Africa has an investment opportunity of $68-108 billion a year for infrastructure alone.”
“Which continent will have consumer and business expenditures that reach $5.6 trillion in just 7 short years,” he added. “Don’t think far: think Africa!”
The power sector alone provides a US$30 billion annual investment opportunity, tapping into Africa’s vast resources of gas, solar, hydro, wind and geothermal. Huge investment opportunities abound to make Africa the leading region on renewable energy in the world.
The African Development Bank is spearheading the development of the Desert to Power to develop 10,000 MW of solar across the entire Sahel region. This will become the largest solar zone in the world.
At the Africa Investment Forum, 306 project transactions valued at US$208.8 billion have been developed. Over the next three days, 60 projects and deals worth US$40.4 billion will be discussed in Boardroom sessions by investors and promoters to fast track closure of deals or to remove policy and regulatory constraints to deal closure. An additional US$28 billion of projects will be showcased in “gallery walks” which have yet to move to boardroom investment conversations.
Over 330 investors will be in the Boardroom investment conversations and “I must say the demand by investors has been overwhelming, so much so that 92% of the investments Boardrooms have been oversubscribed.That’s remarkable for a first inaugural investment forum,” Adesina said.
The Africa Investment Forum is seeking to help reduce intermediation costs, improve the quality of project information and documentation, and increase active and productive engagements between African governments and the private sector.
The Forum will feature projects from various sectors such as energy, infrastructure, transport and utilities, industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms, water and sanitation, funds and financial services, health, education, hospitality and tourism, housing, and aviation.
Africa agribusiness, a US$1 trillion business by 2030
November 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Agribusiness will become the ‘new oil” on the continent, African Investment Forum participants said|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 9, 2018/ — As project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors gathered at the Africa Investment Forum to make deals on investment opportunities, leaders of the continent’s top agribusiness companies shared their thoughts on the future of the industry. With its vast agricultural potential, Africa’s agribusiness sector is predicted to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. Agribusiness will become the ‘new oil” on the continent, African Investment Forum participants said, fueling the motor of inclusive growth.
“Agriculture is a key priority for the African Development Bank, through our Feed Africa strategy,” said Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development. “Understand that by transforming Africa’s agriculture sector it will become the engine that drives Africa’s economic transformation through increased income, better jobs higher on the value chain, improved nutrition, and so on,” she said in her opening remarks at an Africa Investment Forum session titled, Agribusiness: investment conversation with industry leaders.
Some agribusiness leaders said there is a need to invest US$45 billion per year to harness the power of agriculture and move up the value chain to create jobs and wealth. At present, only US$7 billion is invested in the sector. Investments from the private sector, leaders said, will create the adequate environment and enhance the emergence of locally owned agro-processing industries, capable of creating jobs and increasing incomes in rural Africa. The continent could become a net exporter of agricultural commodities, replacing US$110 billion worth of imports, as well as doubling its share of market value for select processed commodities.
The full-capacity session was a highlight of the Africa Investment Forum, organised by the African Development Bank. The event brought representatives from multilateral financial institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, government officials and private investors to Johannesburg, South Africa for three days.
Participants in the agribusiness session discussed the industry’s entire value chain. Leading the ‘fireside chat’ was a roundtable of experts that included Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of the Dangote Group; Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance of Nigeria; William Asiko, CEO, Grow Africa; John George Coumantaros, Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria and TP Nchocho, CEO, Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa
“We need to do the research to produce the right solutions to the issues we might face along the value chain. Youth are particularly involved in this aspect as they know how to develop tools addressing issues such as water management and release”, said Aliko Dangote.
Agribusiness can also promote industrialisation and urban employment, break the ‘productivity gap’ of development, and improve the quality of life for all Africans. Attendees said Africa’s agricultural potential needs to be unlocked.
Session participants said they want to bring African agriculture to the next level. For the small and medium scale farmers, the main challenge remains access to finance. Zainab Shamsuna, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance urged investors and development partners to adapt their policies to accommodate more participants in the agriculture value chain,
“I want us to eat what we grow and consume what we produce”, Shamsuna said.
In closing the session, Edward Mabaya, Manager of Agribusiness Development at the African Development Bank highlighted the vast investment opportunities in Africa’s agribusiness including seed, fertilizer, mechanization, processing and storage.
Africa Investment Forum: All Set to Tilt the Tide of Investments into Africa
November 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Forum to advance projects to bankable stages, raise capital, and accelerate financial closure of deals|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 5, 2018/ — The Africa Investment Forum kicked off on Monday with a media briefing in the South African capital. The game changing event, aimed at attracting multi-billion-dollar deals across the continent, is set to usher in a new era for Africa’s investment landscape.
Regional and global investors and institutional investors, private sector leaders, prominent government officials, and representatives of State are converging in South Africa, for what is billed as an unprecedented gathering to mobilize and crowd in global investment capital for the continent’s ambitious development agenda.
Dubbed by the African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina as the “collective deal of the century for investment in and the development of Africa,” the forum will focus on advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
“This is the beginning of a new conversation, a new way of doing things,” Victor Oladokun, the African Development Bank Director of Communications told reporters, a day before the Forum, which will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
South African Deputy Director of the National Treasury Vuyelwa Vumendlini said the Africa Investment Forum provides a continental complement to the country’s recent investment forum which successfully attracted more than 200 billion Rand in investments.
The Government of South Africa, the African Development Bank and several multi-lateral development partners are hosting the Forum expected to become a key springboard for investment and an annual event.
Global financial institutions such as Africa Finance Corporation, Development Bank of South Africa, Africa 50, Afreximbank, European Investment Bank, Trade and Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, have come together to form solid strategic alliances around this new venture.
The Africa Investment Forum, is a unique platform where already curated projects, advanced and de-risked and are brought in front of investors. This innovative partnership of key global and continental players will focus on transactions and deals, Oladokun said.
Between US $130-170 billion a year is needed to finance infrastructure for Africa’s growing population, according to the African Development Bank’s Economic Outlook 2018. While global assets under management amount to an estimated US$131 trillion dollars, most of that is not invested in Africa; even one percent of that could provide the investment gap Africa needs.
“There is an urgent need to close the gap and for that to happen ‘it has to be business unusual. This is the first and biggest African investment market place, nothing like this has even been done before,” Oladokun, told reporters.
Guateng Province officials and government representatives in attendance included Muzi Mathema, of Guateng Growth and Development Agency, Ms Vuli Vumendlini, Deputy Director of the Nationa Treasury and Ayanda Holo, Director of Media engagement for the South African government. African Development Bank Executive Director Mmakgoshi Lekhethe was also in attendance.
Ronnie Ntuli, Executive Chairman Thelo, described the Forum as “a unique opportunity for Africans to partner with global capacity and the private sector. “It is an investor market…where all these partners converge to take advantage of tremendous opportunities,” he said.
Africa Investment Forum moving Africa’s investment agenda forward
African businesses are rapidly growing in number and sophistication, presenting excellent investment opportunities with relatively high returns, but the challenge of positioning themselves for consideration in front of institutional investors and global corporates remains.
The Forum has curated a total pipeline of 230 projects worth over US$208 billion spanning several sectors – energy, infrastructure, transport and utilities, industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms, water and sanitation and health and education.
Twenty-eight boardroom sessions will curate, screen and ensure the projects are bankable and reach financial close. A total of 61 deals estimated at more than US$40 billion will feature in Boardroom Sessions, while another US$28 billion worth of deals will be showcased to investors at a marketplace Gallery Walk.
The Forum also includes a co-guarantee platform that will develop and deploy innovative instruments to de-risk private sector investments at scale, thus boosting investor confidence.
Discussions will focus on specific projects, sectors, investors, and themes. Others will have country or regional focus. Co-financing and collaborations between investors will also be a key focus area at this event.
The inaugural Africa Investment Forum will feature a session on Championing Investments− an investment conversation with African Heads of State to highlight concrete and transformative actions for a new business landscape in Africa, including collective efforts to facilitate private investments.
The Africa Investment Forum takes place from November 7 to 9, 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
Afe Babalola University Confers Honorary Doctorate Degree on African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina
October 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
|In his acceptance address, Adesina lauded the Institution as an epitome of academic excellence commended its high standards of discipline|
|ADO EKITI, Nigeria, October 22, 2018/ — The Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria, has conferred a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa on the President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina in recognition of his immense contributions to socio-economic development on the continent.
John Olachy Momoh, Chairman of Channels Media Group, Nigeria’s multi award-winning television station also received an Honoris Causa at the 6thConvocation ceremony of the University held on Sunday 21 October 2018 at the University Campus in Ado Ekiti.
“The honorary recipients are Nigerian ambassadors who have conquered the world due to the quality and functional education they received,” said Aare Afe Babalola, Founder of the University.
“They were chosen on the basis of their distinguished reputations, outstanding achievements, exemplary leadership and extraordinary contributions to humanity. This is the highest honour an academic institution can give and today, they are richly-deserved,” he added.
In his acceptance address, Adesina lauded the Institution as an epitome of academic excellence commended its high standards of discipline. To the graduating students,”invest your time and energy in making the right decisions. The story and history of this great institution is one of the right decisions that should be well-studied by those involved in tertiary education globally,” he said.
Afe Babalola University is a private university established in 2010 in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, with the ambition to address the disconnect between curricular programs and labor market demands. The University operates through five colleges for undergraduates (Science, Social & Management Sciences, Law, Engineering and Medicine & Health Science) as well as a Post graduate school. In November 2013, it was appointed to mentor the College of Industrial Development (UID), Accra, Ghana thereby becoming the first university in Nigeria to mentor a foreign university. This year, a total of 4013 students graduated, including 43 pioneer medical doctors.
African Development Bank showcases investment opportunities in Africa to Nordic investors
October 16, 2018 | 0 Comments
|The Bank presented its strategy for the transformation of African economies and showcased investment opportunities on the continent|
|ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 15, 2018/ — The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) in a multidisciplinary team roadshows has presented financial products and investment opportunities to Nordic investors to leverage more access to financing. The roadshows brought together more than 50 private sector companies, investors and government and public institutions in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.
The aim of the event was to bring the Bank closer to customers in order to increase awareness of key private sector stakeholders to understand the Bank’s financial and risk mitigation products for investment projects. The roadshows also generated significant interests of businesses to the Africa Investment Forum, the Bank’s maiden market place, scheduled for November 7-9 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The first roadshow took place in Norway on 24-25 September, followed by Sweden on September 27- 28. In Finland, the Bank met key private sector companies, private funds, and pension funds from 1-2 October and the final event was in Denmark on October 4-5.
The Bank presented its strategy for the transformation of African economies and showcased investment opportunities on the continent. The highly interactive event targeted commercial banks, institutional investors including pension funds, asset managers and insurers as well as individual investors across the Nordic region.
“Nordic countries are very important for the development of Africa and we want to see more investments coming from these countries. Hence, the roadshow organized to showcase African investment opportunities and to present the Bank as a gateway for their investments”, said Olivier Eweck, Director, Syndication, Co-financing and Client Solutions Department, adding that “several private investors and companies have shown keen interest in the Africa Investment Forum”.
The African Development Bank team discussed key roles in accelerating Africa’s investment opportunities across the Nordic region in line with the Bank’s development priorities for Africa as enshrined in the High 5s.
The Bank sees its partnership with long-term investors from the Nordic region as important and welcomes their perspective and visions to support new investments in infrastructure, and to foster sustainable development initiatives in Africa.
The Africa Investment Forum is a novel platform for international business and social impact investors looking to transact and invest funds in Africa. It will connect investors with both public and private sector projects throughout the continent.
The Bank expects that holding the event under one roof would provide an ideal platform for interfacing with its partners, reduce intermediation costs, improve the quality of project information and documentation, and increase action-oriented engagements between African governments and the private sector.
Nigerian Defence Academy Confers Honors on African Development President Akinwumi Adesina
October 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
In his response, Adesina lauded the academy as one of Nigeria’s finest bastions of academic, military, character and leadership training and commended its values of discipline, hard work, integrity, and patriotism
KADUNA, Nigeria, October 5, 2018/ — The Nigerian Defence Academy, the country’s leading military and academic institution, has conferred honorary doctorate degrees in Management Science on three prominent individuals, including African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina.
The other recipients were Muhammadu Indimi, Chairman, Oriental Energy and a career military officer, retired Lt. General Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor. The honorary degrees were conferred on the trio for their distinguished services to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, during the 29th Convocation Ceremony of the institution, held yesterday in Kaduna, northern Nigeria.
The honorary recipients are exemplary Nigerian ambassadors who have made indelible impacts in and outside the country, said Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, Commandant of the Academy.
In his response, Adesina lauded the academy as one of Nigeria’s finest bastions of academic, military, character and leadership training and commended its values of discipline, hard work, integrity, and patriotism. “The Nigerian Defence Academy is an exceptional symbol of Nigeria’s strength and unity. Its world-class military and academic rigor has produced and continues to produce some of Nigeria’s best, brightest, and finest,” Adesina remarked.
The Nigerian Defence Academy was established on 5 February 1964 in response to the defence needs of the then newly independent West African nation. The 2018 convocation ceremony featured 1,562 graduates including cadets of the institution’s 66th Regular Course and post-graduate students.
The Status Quo is Unacceptable: It’s time to normalize the narratives on African Migration, Experts Urge
September 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
Noting that charity begins at home, the experts called on African leaders to reverse the growing global trend towards “securitization of migration,” by acting on commitments to ease travel restrictions and promote regular migration across the African continent
KIGALI, Rwanda, September 25, 2018/ — Technical experts to the High-Level Panel on Migration in Africa (HLPM) concluded a two-day meeting at the headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with a strong call for a new narrative on African migration based on the notion that migration is normal and inevitable.
Noting that charity begins at home, the experts called on African leaders to reverse the growing global trend towards “securitization of migration,” by acting on commitments to ease travel restrictions and promote regular migration across the African continent.
“The status quo is unacceptable,” emphasized Sibry Tapsoba, Director of the Transition Support Department at African Development Bank in opening remarks, describing the situation in Côte d’Ivoire where migrants make up around 12% of the population and where large numbers of children and adult migrants, including a number of high-profile residents, have no identity papers. Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director of Social Development Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa, intimated that “The time is now for us to reflect on where we stand and where we need to go in response to migration challenges on the continent.”
The meeting considered key messages from three specially commissioned reports on migration in Africa that addressed, respectively: costs and benefits of migration; demographics and trends; and the changing landscape of migration governance on the continent and globally. A synthesis of the three reports will feed into the final, policy-oriented, HLPM report due to be finalized at the next meeting of the Panel. The meeting is scheduled to take place from 16-17 October 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The numbers do not lie
Highlighting “myths, perceptions and realities” of African migration, Daniel Makina, University of South Africa, noted that Africa accounts for the lowest share of global migration, while making a significant contribution to the GDP of destination countries. He cited projections that at current rates, intra-African migration alone could propel Africa’s per capita GDP from US$2,0008 in 2016 to US$3,249 by 2030. He noted, however, that to harness the “demographic dividend” of its large youth population, Africa requires to make concerted efforts to sustain economic growth and create jobs.
Describing immigration into Africa as a key blind spot in the current discussions, Linguère Mbaye, AfDB, cited data from UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2018, which estimates that around 22% of international migrants residing in Africa were born on another continent. “This is the other side of the coin, and that would help to deconstruct the existing negative narrative and give a more balanced picture of migration in Africa,” she added.
Hein Haas, Migration Professor at the University of Amsterdam, cautioned that ignoring the “undeniable facts” could lead to both sides of the migration debate locking themselves into entrenched positions. Among these, Haas highlighted that: Africa is “the least migratory region in the world”; the overwhelming majority (9 out of 10) of African migrants enter Europe legally; destination societies, and elite groups in particular, benefit most from migration; and African migrants are generally well educated and are not the “poorest of the poor,” which goes against the conventional wisdom that poverty drives migration. He stressed, however, that African migration is bound to continue to increase as more people will have the “aspirations and capabilities” to move. He concluded that these realities call for a more nuanced interpretation of migration trends in order to develop more realistic responses.
“The real question here is not how to stop migration but how to deal with migration as part of a broader sustainable development agenda,” emphasized Loren Landau, Director of the African Center for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He lamented the continuing characterization of migration as a “problem” noting it leads to policy positions that frame economic development as the “solution” to migration. Stressing that governments have sufficient data on overall migration trends, he called for a focus on data analysis to gain insights on specific social/economic impacts – especially at local level.
Landau described the two competing approaches to migration governance on the continent as “facilitation and securitization,” with the latter increasingly seen in bilateral agreements with Europe. On the way forward, he proposed a multi-pronged strategy to “normalize and incentivize inclusion.” Among features of such an approach, he called for “continental resistance to aid conditionality for containment and securitization,” while promoting “welcoming communities” by providing greater support to local and subregional authorities.
Many participants noted the challenge of getting these messages to the ordinary citizen who has to deal with the impacts of migration on a daily basis. The need to demonstrate that migration can be a win-win solution for all was emphasized, as a way to counter mistrust and rising xenophobia in some countries. However, participants also pointed out that this requires having an honest discussion about what is not working. An example was given of the Ecowas region, which has already adopted provisions to facilitate free travel as well as re- establishment of migrants, but where labour mobility across countries remains a key bottleneck.
We agree on the fundamentals, but how do we push these lofty ideas?” asked HLPM member Danisa Baloyi, as she called for clear guidance to the Panel on the way ahead.
Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director, Social Development Policy Division, ECA, stressed the need for the final HLPM report to include “some hard truths,” including challenges in ongoing bilateral negotiations on returnees between some African countries and the EU that make it difficult for Africa to speak with one voice.
The experts called for the HLPM report to promote a new narrative through balanced messaging and practical recommendations that can help countries shift from the current focus on stopping migration towards frameworks that facilitate net benefits from migration. To inspire other countries, one participant called for the report to celebrate the introduction of visa-free travel by a number of countries, including Benin, Rwanda, Seychelles, Mauritius and Senegal.
On effective use of migration data, participants called for greater emphasis on “social remittances” to balance the current focus on financial remittances. Describing Mauritius as a “very good case study” of the benefits of migration, William Muhwava, ECA, stressed that the long-term benefits of visa free travel far outweigh the loss of visa income in the short-term, which include increased tourism and circulation of goods and services. He added that at the continental level, such benefits could account for as much as US$2 billion of the economy and accrue at all levels – from household to national.
Among specific messages for inclusion in the HLPM report, the discussions called for:
African Development Bank Launches first Africa-to-Africa (A2A) Investment Report
September 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Africa-to-Africa Investment Report: A first look, finds that more African companies are investing in Africa|
|ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 24, 2018/ — Opportunities for investment in Africa outweigh the obstacles, according to a report by leading African companies covered in the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) new Africa-to-Africa (A2A) Investment Report, the first ever report on inter-African trade published by the Bank.
The report unearths the realities African companies face when investing in the continent, the emerging trends in A2A investment and the steps African policymakers can take to accelerate intra-African investment.
Africa-to-Africa Investment Report: A first look (https://bit.ly/2Q3p3kh), finds that more African companies are investing in Africa. These companies have confidence in the continent’s long-term growth potential; they are at the cutting edge of their industries, and are capitalizing on their knowledge of local markets to generate higher returns and impact.
In line with the Bank’s High 5s for transforming Africa and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the A2A Report aims to take the conversation on investing in the continent a step further. It shows what African multinationals are doing to drive investments in Africa, d how they are expanding their African footprint, and gives insights into how to scale-up investments more widely.
“As global foreign direct investment to Africa falls, intra-African investments are picking up pace,” said Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. “Africa’s big companies are increasingly on the move and expanding their African footprint. It is through more investments that the continent can build inclusive, sustainable growth and development. We have made this our collective commitment in the High 5s”.
The A2A Report features eight publicly-listed and privately-owned African companies operating in consumer services, finance, industry, media and diversified portfolios and investment, with home bases in North Africa (Morocco), West Africa (Nigeria, Togo), East and Central Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya) and Southern Africa (Mauritius, South Africa).
Highlights from the Report’s intra-African investment stories include the importance of having a clear long-term vision, getting up-to-date investment facts, building local partnerships to deliver on the ground and tapping into talent in the local labour force.
The business case for A2A investment is strongly connected to the continent’s integration, growth and prosperity. Although challenges remain, the A2A Report is the start of a broader discussion to fast-track investments, move beyond the wish list and make deals happen. The continent’s policymakers can inspire a greater level of confidence and promote A2A investments by highlighting their role as dependable business partners for African investors.
The Report is part of the Bank Group’s continued championing of investment across Africa, along with the first Africa Investment Forum (AIF) (AfricaInvestmentForum.com), scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 7-9 November 2018.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) 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.