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2019 Africa Investment Forum: There’s never been a better time to invest in Africa than now, infrastructure, agriculture investment opportunities abound
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

It was a presidential start on Monday to the African Development Bank’s Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dignitaries and delegates from the continent and around the world gathered to listen to Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique. 

They engaged in a discussion titled, Invest in Africa’s Space: Conversation with African Heads of State, moderated by Dr. Victor Oladokun, African Development Bank Group Director of External Relations and Communications.

The message from all is clear – Africa is better placed than ever for investment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa identified infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and tourism as the sectors where the most investment opportunities exist in South Africa. And as the tourism capital of the continent, the president claims when God created Africa, he spent more time on the southern tip.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagama had a positive message to share, “There has been a lot of progress and activities taking place on the continent, raising Africa to a higher level. I have always thought it was Africa’s time – but in the past we have let ourselves down.” He says his country has created a conducive investment environment through good governance systems and security, and according to the World Bank, it is the second easiest African country with which to do business. Rwanda is focusing on three main areas – creating an agribusiness hub, the planned Kigali Innovation City and the Kigali Innovation Fund.

For Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area remains a priority. He says his government is working to strengthen the country’s macro-economy, “We’ve managed to turn around rising inflation, curbed debt, and maintained discipline in the managing of public finances. In just 3 years, our economy is expanding to become one of the world’s fastest growing economies.” The country’s current priorities are infrastructure, agriculture and mineral resources.

Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario representing the President of Mozambique, says his country has changed a lot. His government is open to investment, fighting corruption and has improved transparency. It has managed to control inflation, reducing it from 27% to 13%. The country has a youthful population, which is ready to work. Mozambique has many investment opportunities, particularly in oil and gas, agriculture and mineral resources.

The four presidents also responded to questions from the audience.
There was a common theme amongst the leaders – continuing governance issues need to be addressed, such as political stability, security and conflict. President Kagama says many African states know what needs to be done, which includes improving accountability, transparency and trust, while promoting the role of women.

Answering a question about the safety of foreign nationals in South Africa, President Ramaphosa reassured the continent that his country has always welcomed people from around the world, especially its neighbors, as South Africa is home to all.

He says his government is taking action and setting up an early warning system.

On agriculture and fisheries sector in Mozambique, Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario said the industries are vital for job and income creation. He adds that only 10% of arable land in his country is being used. Modernization is needed, as well as expansion in crops like maize, cashew nuts and cotton. Mozambique’s government is also working to maintain peace in the country.

Asked about his government’s approach to the cocoa industry, Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that his country and Côte d’Ivoire produce about 65% of the world’s cocoa, worth about $100bn. Of that money, the farmers producing the product, receive about $6bn. Both countries have decided to take action by forging a common policy with a set cocoa floor price, increasing the farmers’ earnings.

The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

The 2018 inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion — in less than 72 hours.

The 2019 Forum runs from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

*AFDB

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2019 Africa Investment Forum kicks off delivering on the promise to redefine and unpack the continent’s investment opportunities
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
  • $500 million equity closed for the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund to speed up investments in agriculture
  • Financial close for the Africa Guarantee Fund $175 Equity transaction to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, and $350 million for South Africa’s beef agro-processing project

The 2019 Africa Investment Forum opened on Monday living up to its promise to move from commitment to action.

A $500 million equity deal presented by the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund last year, to speed up investments in agriculture, and a $175 million equity transaction from the Africa Guarantee Fund for investors to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, are among the transactions that found financial close over the past year.

The opening ceremony was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa; President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique. 

 “The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential…Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities,” President Ramaphosa said in his address, as he urged investors to move beyond pledges.

The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.

 “As the investor community, your presence here shows your unwavering will to help us and support us to succeed. I invite you, therefore, to join us as we pass the flickering torch of progress across every border of this great continent until the light of development and economic prosperity illuminates every African village, every African town, every African city, in every African household.” he said.

The inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion in less than 72 hours. “A lot of progress has been made on these investment interests,” with a highly dedicated team of partners working around the clock to accelerate financial closure for transactions,” African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina said.

Another transaction tabled last year – a $600 million transaction for COCOBOD to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa – has also reached financial close, and will be signed during this edition of the Forum. Similarly, South Africa’s $350 million beef agro-processing project has reached financial close.

“Promise made, promise kept,” said Adesina. He noted that Mara Phones Ashish Takkhar made a commitment during the 2018 Forum. “In 2019, he delivered.”

“It is a new, more confident Africa. A continent now aware of its place in the world and determined to be a global investment haven. And Africa is harnessing investors’ interests and investments. Welcome to the Africa Investment Forum, the place to be for investors,” he said.

Several leading figures were in attendance including, the Premier of Gauteng province, David Makhura; Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance and African Development Bank’s Governor for South Africa; Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs and Ibrahim Mayaki representing the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Minister Philip Mpango from Tanzania; Minister Jean Jacques Bouya from the Republic of Congo; Mr. Vital Kamerhe from the Democratic Republic of Congo were among the high-level delegates who took part in the opening ceremony. Executive Governors from Nigeria, including Kayade Fayemi of Ekiti State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Adulrahman Abdurazaq of Kwara State.

Shortly after the opening ceremony, Masai Ujuri, President of the Toronto Raptors; Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group and Tokunboh Ismael Managing Partner of Alitheaia IDF Fund shared their views on progress made since 2018.

The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank.

The Forum runs from 11 to 13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

*AFDB

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“News with a human face” in focus at African Development Bank and Thomson Reuters Foundation workshop for African journalists
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

“The training opened my eyes to see Africa as it is, and not as it is portrayed in the media,” said Thando Magudulela, a journalist with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, at the opening of the second edition of a reporting workshop hosted by the African Development Bank in South Africa.

Following the successful first edition in Abidjan last June, the African Development Bank and the Thomson Reuters Foundation organised the next phase of its collaboration from 6-8 November 2019,  in Pretoria.

“Let’s work together in creative ways to ensure accountability in our countries, and build a new Africa for future generations,” Victor Oladokun, the Bank’s Director of Communication and External Relations, said in a presentation at the programme.

“Permit me to say it is not all doom and gloom. Together, we need to tell the stories of some of the positive developments taking place on our continent and of a resurgent Africa,” Oladokun told participants.

The workshop was attended by journalists from 21 Southern and Eastern African countries.  The programme offered them specialised reporting knowledge and skills focusing on impact development placing people at the center of the continent’s development narrative.

The three-day programme delivers on a pledge that Bank President Akinwumi Adesina made at the Bank’s Annual Meetings last year in Busan, South Korea, where he promised to provide development training to journalists.

As part of the rigorous course, trainees visited Ekurhuleni East TVET College in Germiston, Gauteng Province, where the Bank‘s support has impacted 200 students, instructors and Small Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMMEs) in the local community. This has led to improved performance of students and productivity for SMMEs.

“I am impressed with the selection of trainers. I learnt a lot, and this is good for my career development. I will forever value this opportunity and will always be grateful to the African Development Bank,” said Doreen Chilumbu Nawa from the Zambian Daily Mail.

The African Development Bank’s High 5 priorities sharpen the focus and adapt the global agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement to the Agenda 2063 for Africa developed by the African Union.

“This training gave us opportunity to learn that we can also focus on changing and developing our communities through our profession,” said Kebadiretse Rasekhutla, from Gabz FM, based in Botswana.

The High 5s target inclusive growth and a transition to green growth through five priorities to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation promotes impartial, independent evidence-based reporting.

To Elizabeth Akolde Malath, a mid-career journalist from the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, the training was “an eye-opener to upcoming journalists like me.”

*AFDB

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Why the Africa Investment Forum matters for the continent’s energy transformation
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Wale Shonibare*

Wale Shonibare

The African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa underlines the urgency to power the continent in order to end energy poverty, catalyze industrialization, and stimulate socio-economic growth. The strategy is grounded in the recognition that access to reliable, affordable and sustainable energy is central to Africa’s development, and lifting populations out of poverty. 

Close to 600 million people in the continent still lack energy access, despite Africa’s abundant energy resources, especially renewables such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal. Bridging the energy access gap, and catalyzing economic growth, requires substantial investments into Africa’s energy sector. The private sector sits on the bulk of the capital.

Investors recognize the opportunities in the energy sector, yet multiple barriers stand in the way of transformational private sector participation – including non-creditworthy utilities, the absence of cost-reflective tariffs, and capacity constraints throughout the energy sector value chain. Unlocking private sector capital, therefore, must be accompanied by resolving policy and regulatory issues, and other systemic bottlenecks, in order to create the right conditions for energy investments from outside and within Africa.

The impetus to mobilize and scale up private investment into the energy sector is what makes the Africa Investment Forum such a critical platform for the continent’s energy future. By leveraging the Bank’s convening power to facilitate public-private dialogue, we will move closer to our goal of universal energy access, primarily through reforms and financial instruments to de-risk transactions, enhance bankability, and fast-track project closure.

At this year’s forum, the Bank’s energy team will engage sector stakeholders in extensive consultations, knowledge exchange, networking, and peer-to-peer learning in order to address barriers to mobilizing and scaling up private investment into the energy sector. During various boardroom sessions, we will focus on a range of projects, including the Inga Dam in the DRC, the Baynes hydro plant in Angola and Namibia, and the Tulu Moye geothermal development in Ethiopia.

We will also continue discussions on the roll-out of the Bank’s transformative Desert to Power Initiative following its endorsement at the G5 Sahel Heads of State Summit on 13 September in Burkina Faso.

We will also engage further on mobilizing climate finance through the Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change (AFAC) in order to shift portfolios of African financial institutions towards climate-friendly projects across the continent.

Earlier this year, the Board of the African Development Bank approved the Distributed Energy Service Companies (DESCOs) programme to support the deployment of off-grid solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa at scale. We will engage investors on our plans to innovate through the use of securitization financing techniques, which address access to finance barriers for DESCOs while supporting their growth and expansion into existing and new countries. We will also release the 2019 edition of the Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI), which is a diagnostic tool that highlights key areas in regulatory design and practice that require improvement.

Throughout the discussions, investors and stakeholders will be better able to understand market dynamics, policy, and regulatory frameworks, while learning first-hand about the details and potential of bankable projects, and what needs to be done to speed up financial close.

By facilitating mutually beneficial dialogue amongst stakeholders who can dramatically affect our energy landscape, the Africa Investment Forum is creating the requisite foundation for accelerated private sector investments to ultimately assure Africa’s energy transformation.

*Wale Shonibare, Acting Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate Change & Green Growth, African Development Bank

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Africa Investment Forum: “Short on talk, heavy on deals”, African Development Bank, South African government and partners affirm
November 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Pretoria, South Africa, November 10, 2019 – The Africa Investment Forum will be short on talk and heavy on deals, the South African Government, the African Development Bank and key partners affirmed at a press conference ahead of the 2019 edition of the event.

Organized by the African Development Bank and its partners, the second edition of the Forum, will take place from place from 11 to13 November 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace is aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage and accelerating financial closure of deals.

“Last year we achieved remarkable results with over $ 36 billion of investments interests that were signed or being were closed. We are hoping that this year it is going to be even better,” said Vuyelwa Vumendlini, Deputy Director General of the National Treasury of South Africa.

Sharing similar sentiments, Mduduzi Mbapa, Senior Advisor to the Premier of Gauteng noted that the biggest take away from last year’s edition was the need for greater interconnection on the continent. “In fact, many have been writing about Africa rising.  Through this Forum, we are making sure that our continent does rise and it contributes to the growth of the world,” he said.

Around 2000 delegates are expected to attend the innovative investment marketplace which will bring together heads of state, project sponsors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors in 60 boardroom sessions to move projects from commitment to action.

“The Africa Investment Forum is designed to be a transformative platform for deals across the continent. The Africa investment forum goes way beyond the three-day event starting Monday. It is continuous process of nurturing deals, projects preparation, deal closure, meeting boardrooms, but most importantly ensuring that those deals actually happen to impact the continent,” said Chinelo Anohu, Head and Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum.

The Africa Investment Forum partners include Africa 50, Africa Finance Corporation, Africa Export-Import Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Trade and Development Bank.

Victor Oladokun, Director of Communication and External Relations at the Bank, said the Forum’s agenda was simple.

“In a nutshell, the Africa Investment Forum has a very simple agenda that is tilting the flow of capital into Africa at a much greater level that we have experienced up to now.”

*AFDB

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Why global and pan African investors need to set their sights on the 2019 Africa Investment Forum
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala*

The year 2019 will be one of the defining moments in Africa’s investment landscape. Bigger, bolder and more ambitious projects await delegates and investors as we prepare to kick off the second edition of the Africa Investment Forum.

A multi-billion-dollar petrochemical project in Egypt and the Kigali Innovation City Project in Rwanda, are only two of the projects which featured during the maiden edition of the Forum held in November last year.

Alongside a greater emphasis on helping transactions reach bankability and in pushing ahead the regional integration agenda, project sponsors and investors continue to flock to our digital Platform, with interest already shown in 151 projects from 34 African countries worth $112.4 billion.

Following the immense success in November 2018, the Africa Investment Forum, a brainchild of the African Development Bank, is becoming a firm fixture in the calendars of the global investment community. The 2018 event saw nearly 2,000 participants, representing 83 countries, out of which some 277 were delegates from development finance institutions that are active in Africa.

The 2018 Forum was instrumental in showcasing up to 49 different transactions at different stages of development and with a total value of close to $40 billion. These projects were presented to a large audience of investors and financiers. Judging from the interest generated, the Forum promises to play a major role in catalyzing investment flows into Africa, so instrumental in moving the continent forward into the future.

Some of the key projects for which the Forum is expected to play an invaluable role, include the Desert to Power initiative – which aims to provide 10,000 MW of solar-generated electricity to 250 million people across the Sahel. Projects like the Inga Hydro-electric scheme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other major cross-border infrastructure projects in road and rail, are all highly transformative projects with important social and economic impacts.

The timing of the coming into being of the Forum is fortuitous, coming on the heels of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the Single African Air Transport Market, ratified by the majority of African Union members.

New investments made possible through the Africa Investment Forum have the potential to spur an explosion in trade, contribute to Africa’s re-industrialization and promote cross-border regional economic integration.

Indeed, while the platform continues to ramp up and grow, the Forum offered some very important lessons. In particular, additional resources are required to adequately prepare projects which are crucial for Africa’s development. Well-prepared projects minimize negative environmental and social issues, while maximizing development and economic outcomes, thus contributing to enhanced bankability. This notwithstanding, projects originated through the Forum will benefit from the Bank’s wider ecosystem and the numerous instruments and partnerships with other development finance institutions which will help transform project ideas into actual investments that create jobs and economic opportunities on the ground.

While the Forum is a practical and transactional platform for project deals and potential financers to interact, it has also become a staging post for new financing product innovations that compliment and contribute to de-risking and making investment opportunities more attractive for investors. Examples of recent innovations in this regard include the co-guarantee platform that was established in 2018 by the African Development Bank alongside its partners the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and GuarantCo.

As we prepare again to put Africa on global investors’ radars, I would like to see tied to the Forum more activities with the potential of bringing increased dynamism and depth to African domestic capital markets; initiatives that help mobilize African domestic resources into projects coming to this platform for funding.

Beyond this, there are opportunities for the African diaspora whose annual remittances to the continent now top $60 billion a year, making it an immense pool of money that can actively participate in Africa’s development story and benefit from the myriad investment opportunities.

I would like to see diaspora bond issuances and/or collective investment vehicles discussed and presented at the Forum, as they can represent significant financing that can be put to work for the benefit of Africa’s development.

I also strongly encourage and welcome greater participation of the South African institutional investment management industry.

We look forward to a successful Forum and to greater acceleration of the development of the continent.

*AFDB. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala is Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer, African Development Bank

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African Development Bank Shareholders approve landmark $115 billion capital increase, signalling strong support
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

  • Bank’s capital base more than doubles. Jumps from $93 billion to $208 billion
  • Largest capital increase in the Bank’s history signals a united front by shareholders

At an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting today in Abidjan, Governors of the African Development Bank, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a landmark $115 billion increase in capital for the continent’s foremost financial institution.

The capital increase, the largest in the history of the African Development Bank since its establishment in 1964, is a remarkable show of confidence by shareholders.

With the approved increase, the capital of the Bank will more than double from $93 billion to $208 billion. This solidifies the Bank’s leadership on development financing for the continent.

The boost in capital ensures that the Bank will continue to maintain a sterling AAA rating, all stable, from the top rating agencies.

The African Development Bank launched discussions on the request for a general capital increase two years ago, to help fast track the delivery of its High 5 development strategies, the sustainable development goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara said: “the integration of the continent’s priorities into the High 5s indicates that the African Development Bank group is a strategic partner for African governments.”

In the past four years, the Bank’s High 5 priorities have delivered impressive results on the ground, including helping to connect 16 million people to electricity, 70 million people provided with agricultural technologies to boost food security; 9 million people given access to finance through private sector investee companies; 55 million people provided improved access to transport services; and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation.

According to African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina,  “We have achieved a lot, yet there is still a long way to go. Our responsibility is to very quickly help improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. This general capital increase represents a very strong commitment of all our shareholders to see better quality projects that will significantly have an impact on the lives of the people in Africa –  in cities, in rural communities, and for millions of youth and women.”

With the new general capital increase, the Bank plans to do more, with the following expected results: 105 million people to have access to new or improved electricity connections; 244 million people to benefit from improvements in agriculture; 15 million people to benefit from investee projects; 252 million people to benefit from improved access to transport; and 128 million people to benefit from improved access to water and sanitation.

Adesina noted that “the Bank will continue its leadership role on infrastructure development, strengthening regional integration, helping to realize the ambitions of the African Continental Free Trade Area, supporting fragile states to build resilience, ensuring sustainable debt management, addressing climate change and boosting private sector investments. We will do a lot more. This is a historic moment.”

He added: “I applaud the shareholders for their strong confidence in the Bank and for boosting support for Africa’s development”.

President Adesina, Bank senior vice-president Charles Boamah and vice president for Finance and Bank Chief Finance Officer Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, will be available for interviews and further comment about the increase.

*AFDB

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Africa can be world’s next economic hub if supported with right policies – Singapore’s Senior Minister tells lecture audience
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

Africa must spread its economic openness by strongly showcasing specialisation along the production value chain and invest more boldly in social foundations

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, November 6, 2019/ — With the right policies and linkages, Africa can become an indispensable global economic hub, Singapore’s Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam noted Tuesday, commending the continent’s diverse economic potential.

Delivering this year’s Kofi A. Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture series at the African Development Bank headquarters in Abidjan, Shanmugaratnam outlined five strategies which must underpin the continent’s transformation drive and efforts to build inclusive growth.

Africa must spread its economic openness by strongly showcasing specialisation along the production value chain and invest more boldly in social foundations. The continent must also maximise policy coherence and effectiveness, think in the long-term and maximise the benefits of global financial system, Shanmugaratnam told diplomats, students, government representatives and senior Bank officials gathered in the Babacar Ndiaye auditorium.

The lecture, the third in a new series organised by the African Development Institute, had the theme: “Inclusive Growth: Learning from Experience, Partnering for the Future – How Africa and Asia can work together for broad-based prosperity.” He was accompanied by senior government officials from Singapore.

“There are challenges, but there are also opportunities. There is much more to be done,” said Shanmugaratnam who is also Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Social Policies.

In order to build economic resilience and create job opportunities for their bulging youth population, there must be stronger connectivity and economic interaction among developing regions, especially between Africa and Asia which share demographic similarities.

He noted that there is a significant interest by Singapore businesses in Africa which needs to be scaled up. “We need to take practical steps to spur this collaboration with more bilateral investment treaties that provide some assurance to investors.”

Singapore is the eighth largest foreign investor in Africa. It invested around $90 billion in the continent in 2018.

“We are in an unusual time globally – a time of unusual challenge where some of the basic beliefs of how the world prospect together are being challenged. But it’s also a time of immense opportunities… in the international economy, in international finance and in international cooperation,” the minister stated.

It is projected that in the next decade, Africa will have the largest working age population in the world, larger than China and India with about 1.1 billion people of working age population of between 15 and 64 years.

Shanmugaratnam said African leaders must prepare to take advantage of the strong bulging workforce, coupled with the high mobile technology penetration to drive innovation for growth.

In his welcoming remarks, Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina noted that Africa could learn a lot from Singapore. He described Mr Shanmugaratnam as someone with expansive knowledge who was chosen because of his inspiring works in the Asian nation.

Adesina said the Eminent Lecture series was dedicated to Kofi Annan, a former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) in recognition of his contributions to humanity. Annan launched the UN millennium development goals.

“As we continue our efforts to do more, we want to learn from the impressive achievements of Singapore, and no one is better placed to discuss this and all of the things around Asia and Africa with us than Tharman Shanmugaratnam,” he said.

The African Development Bank launched the Eminent Speakers Lecture series in 2006 to provide a platform for a robust exchange of ideas to meet the challenges of African development.

Since then, the series has featured world-class speakers, politicians, top academics, businesspeople and civil society representatives, who have spoken on a diverse range of topics and issues, including economics, finance, regional integration, human development, the environment, and philosophy.

*AFDB

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Extraordinary Meeting of African Development Bank Governors: “Make the right decision” for Africa to achieve its objectives, says Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire
November 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, with Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. Photo AFDB

The message was well received by Adesina, who warmly welcomed the presence of President Ouattara, members of his Government, and shareholders
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 31, 2019/ — The President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, on Thursday called on the Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB.org) to “make the right decision” to enable the continent to achieve its development goals.

President Ouattara made the remarks at the opening of the 5th extraordinary meeting of the African Development Bank Board of Governors in Abidjan.

“Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 requires substantial financial resources. Africa cannot achieve these goals without the financial support and technical assistance of partners, including the African Development Bank,” explained President Ouattara.

“We are convinced that the Governors will make the right decision, to agree on a general capital increase,” he continued. The Ivorian Head of State expressed his confidence that “the Board of Governors, (African Development Bank) President Adesina and his team will take all appropriate steps for prompt, full implementation of commitments made for reforms to optimize operational headroom resulting from the additional capital.” 

The message was well received by Adesina, who warmly welcomed the presence of President Ouattara, members of his Government, and shareholders.

“Looking around me, I am delighted to see you, our shareholders, among us. Your presence inspires us. Your support strengthens us. Your advice lights our pathway towards the mission you have entrusted to us,” Adesina said.


Adesina then addressed the Governors: “Your decision on the capital increase will fully replenish us. This is a historic moment for a historic decision! We have climbed the steep slope of the mountain that is development in Africa, but we still have a long path to travel. Your support will fill our lungs with oxygen to keep us climbing upwards until we reach the top.”

With the general capital increase, the Bank will be in a position to develop a range of ambitious initiatives on the continent: Desert to Power aims to provide 250 million people with access to electricity in the Sahel region, while AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) aims to mobilize $3 billion in new financing. The Bank also plans to double climate funding and make the African continental free trade area a reality.

Nialé Kaba, Minister of Planning and Development of Côte d’Ivoire and President of the Board of Governors, recalled the path travelled over the past two years since the Bank first expressed a wish for this capital increase: ” The goal is to provide the means to address challenges. Africa looks to us, not with apprehension but with hope. I am convinced that we will succeed in joining our efforts to achieve the expected objective.”

*AFDB
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Cameroon: Three Power Plants Financed by the African Development Bank to Reduce Power Cuts
October 25, 2019 | 0 Comments
With an estimated 23,000 MW hydroelectric production capacity, Cameroon has the second largest hydroelectric potential in Africa and the 18th largest worldwide
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 24, 2019/ — For many years, Cameroon’s national electricity supply has been notoriously unreliable and subject to power cuts. The last significant electric system outage, which lasted eight hours, occurred last March and affected several of the country’s regions (the Far North, North, Littoral, Adamaoua, South and Centre regions).

However, three projects financed by the African Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org) for $121.4 million in 2010-2011 are at last starting to provide long-suffering Cameroonians with much more reliable electricity.

Completion of work on transport lines, line maintenance and especially the replacement of wooden electricity transport poles with concrete poles are all part of the system improvements, whose goal is to increase the quality and reliability of public access to electricity.

The Lom Panga storage reservoir project is complete, but the dam’s generating plant is still under construction. In the meantime, two other power plants, Kribi and Dibamba, have begun working to strengthen Cameroon’s generating capacity.

In November 2011, the African Development Bank awarded $62.9 million for the construction of Lom-Pangar, the hydroelectric generation’s ‘lungs’ in the country’s East region. The project included the construction of a reservoir (6 billion cubic meters of water retained) for regulating the Sanaga’s flow and optimising generation during low water periods at the Song Loulou plant (335 MW) and the Edea plant (224 MW). The production from these two plants has grown from 450 MW in 2011 to 729 MW now.

A 30 MW hydroelectric generating plant is under construction at the base of the dam. It will be linked to the Bertoua thermal plant by a 105 km 90kV line that should start to work in May 2021 following the installation of an evacuation station and the construction of its four turbines. Lom-Pangar will provide electricity to 150 locations in the region and will significantly reduce power cuts in the area.

“The Lom-Pangar dam will help save water in other reservoirs,” said Theodore Nsangou, the General Director of the Electricity Development Corporation (EDC), in an interview with a government publication in March 2018.

The 216 MW capacity Kribi gas-fired generating plant began to work in 2013 after receiving $32.8 million from the African Development Bank in July 2011 for an expansion project. Its production goal is 330 MW. Currently, the power plant has a 100 km 225 kV transport line connecting it with the Magombe substation in the Edea region in the country’s South region. The plant operates with natural gas (with light fuel oil as emergency backup) from the Sagana South offshore gas field.

During the dry season, the Kribi plant and its nine simple cycle gas turbines are truly the system’s “oxygen”, maintaining the country’s energy flow, particularly to the South’s interconnected system, which receives its electricity from Kribi.

The Kribi gas-fired generating plant and the Dibamba generating plant provide access to electricity for close to half of Cameroon’s population.

The Dibamba heavy fuel oil generating plant was also designed to meet the serious problem of power cuts during the dry season. It was the first of the three plants to receive financial support from the African Development Bank of $25.6 million in April 2010. Built to mitigate the country’s shortage of electricity, high demand quickly outpaced its capacity the day after it began operations.


Located in the outskirts of Douala, Cameroon’s second largest city, Dibamba is an 86 MW thermal generating plant with a 2 km 90 kV transport line linked to the network serving the most remote and densely populated areas in the country’s West region.

With an estimated 23,000 MW hydroelectric production capacity, Cameroon has the second largest hydroelectric potential in Africa and the 18th largest worldwide. The country plans to complete the development of its hydroelectric industries by 2035. Construction of the Nachtigal hydroelectric generating plan began in 2019 and will be complete in about five years, with an estimated generating capacity of 420 MW.

The African Development Bank has awarded a funding package of $154.8 million for the completion of this generating plant. Other development partners, such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and Proparco, are also involved.

The African Development Bank Group (https://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 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: https://www.AfDB.org

*SOURCE African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
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African Development Bank Funds Angola Initiative to Improve Business Environment and Diversify Exports
October 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
L to R: Joohoon Kim, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Republic of Korea in Angola; Moono Mupotola, the Bank’s Director for Regional Development & Regional Integration; Joffre Van-Dúnem Júnior, Minister of Commerce; Sérgio dos Santos, Secretary of State for Economy; Joseph Ribeiro, the Bank’s Country Manager for Angola
With regional integration, countries such as Angola have the opportunity to buttress trade with its neighbours, hence realizing the structural transformation that is needed to step up to the global stage
LUANDA, Angola, October 23, 2019/ — The Angolan Government has launched a study funded by the Bank through the KOAFEC trust fund to support the improvement of export diversification and the business environment.

The launch event was attended by the Bank’s director for regional development and regional integration, Moono Mupotola, the Bank’s country manager for Angola, Joseph Ribeiro; the Angolan minister of commerce, Joffre Van-Dúnem Júnior; secretary of state for economy, Sérgio dos Santos; the chargé d’ affaires of the Republic of Korea in Angola, Joohoon Kim; and the executive director of Angola’s Export Promotion and Private Investment Agency, José Chinjamba. Others included government officials, development partners and private sector stakeholders.

Opening the session, the minister of commerce, Joffre Van-Dúnem Júnior, highlighted the government’s commitment to improve Angola’s business environment and enhance international competitivity, while attracting increased investment for domestic and exportable products. Furthermore, the secretary of state for economy, Sérgio dos Santos, also noted that the study supports the government’s programme for domestic production, export diversification, and import substitution (PRODESI).

“Export diversification will allow Angola to integrate into the regional markets under SADC and ECCAS and at continental level. With regional integration, countries such as Angola have the opportunity to buttress trade with its neighbours, hence realizing the structural transformation that is needed to step up to the global stage.”, Mupotola said. The Bank’s director also illustrated Angola’s strategic position to trade and benefit from countries such as landlocked Zambia.

Joohoon Kim conveyed the Korean Government’s interest in strengthening bilateral relationships with Angola through trade, social and infrastructure development.

The study proposes to prioritise the manufacturing, agriculture and tourism sectors for export action plans and government support, with six key products and services: beverages, travel and tourism services; glass/ glass bottles; cement; vegetables and fruit. The products were selected on the basis of their potential to generate employment, add more value, link to micro, small and medium sized businesses, as well as align with government priorities.

The study will serve as a basis for enhancing competitiveness in Angola and is expected to promote the country’s potential to contribute productively to regional and global value chains.
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African Development Bank partners with Senegal to host 2021 World Water Forum
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
The forum will take place in the Senegalese capital 22 – 27 March 2021, on the theme of ‘Water Security for Peace and Development’
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 11, 2019/ — A Senegalese government delegation, led by the country’s Minister of Water and Sanitation, His Excellency Serigne Mbaye Thiam, briefed the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) on Senegal’s preparations to host the World Water Forum (https://bit.ly/35mwCLg) in Dakar in March 2021.

Minister Thiam met with the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, and her senior management team on 8 October to discuss the Bank’s participation in the event’s organization and delivery.

“The forum is a great opportunity for the Bank to showcase and advance its water and sanitation agenda, and we commend the government of Senegal for the preparatory work they have done so far,” said Vice President Blanke.

The forum will take place in the Senegalese capital 22 – 27 March 2021, on the theme of ‘Water Security for Peace and Development’.

Minister Thiam thanked the Bank for its contributions, including its sponsorship of women and youth delegates to the forum preparation meeting in June 2019. “Our government is counting on the African Development Bank to help mobilize the enormous resources that will be needed to make this first sub-Saharan-hosted World Water Forum a great success,” he said.

At a separate briefing for the Bank’s water development and sanitation department as well as other Bank staff, the executive secretary of the forum’s organizing committee Abdoulaye Sene offered a detailed presentation of event preparations and took questions about the forum known as the “world’s largest event on water.”

“The Bank, as a leader in supporting water sector development in Africa, will play an important role in supporting delivery of the forum,” said Wambui Gichuri, director of the Bank’s water development and sanitation department.

Sene told the Bank officials that Dakar is expecting more than 20,000 participants from more than 170 countries. “Awarding the hosting of this forum to Senegal is a testament to the urgency of the water issue for Africa and to the country’s commitment to the water agenda,” he said.

The executive secretary said the forum will be “a focused, inclusive, integrated, open-ended multi-stakeholder process, interacting and synergizing with international events,” Sene also said that the ‘Dakar 2021’ forum would address the present and future global issues for man and nature, serving as a catalyst and accelerator of universal access to water and sanitation, as well as for the Sustainable Development Goals for Senegal, Africa and the world.

The theme of the forum aligns with the Bank’s ten-year strategy for 2013-2022 (https://bit.ly/2fDF5V6), which confirms the importance of water security for Africa’s quality social and economic development. The strategy states that investments in integrated water development and management are central to sustainable water, food and energy security for green and inclusive growth.
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