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

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

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Ministerial Working Group on Tourism meets in Seychelles to brainstorm on making Africa the preferred destination for tourism in the context of AU Agenda 2063
March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

The African Union Ministerial Working Group on tourism sector development strategy have concluded a two-day brainstorming meeting on 14 March 2014 in Seychelles in view to strategise on how to make an African brand through tourism while attracting visitors to chose Africa as major destination. Key speakers at the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Working Group include, Dr. Elham Mamoud Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union, Mr Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Alain ST Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of South Africa and Mr Regis Immongault, Minister of Mines, Industry and Tourism of the Republic of Gabon in the presence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles in Addis Ababa, Mr. Joseph Nourrice, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Seychelles, AUC officials and invited guests. Addressing the participants Commissioner Elham Ibrahim recalled that the idea of organizing the Ministerial working group meeting, was initiated and discussed in Seychelles some times ago, between the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles. “For sure, there could not be a better venue for this meeting than this place which embodies the very spirit of tourism of our continent. For me, the name Seychelles immediately creates in my mind, images of all that is beautiful with Africa.”, she noted. The Commissioner underscored that the Ministerial Group Meeting will define the long term aspirations of the continent in the tourism sector. images (1)The African Union Commission, Commissioner Elham Ibrahim said, is in the process elaborating its long term strategy for speeding up development and integration of the continent. “This strategy which envisages Africa’s prosperity in the next fifty (50) years since 2013 is known as the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063. It will be comprehensive and articulate on the aspirations of the African peoples in all their socio-economic endeavors”, she underlined. The Commissioner added that, the African Union Commission is well aware of the huge direct and indirect contribution of tourism to the economies of African countries at both macro and micro levels. (See complete statement of the AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy on the AU website: http://www.au.int ). The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Seychelles reiterated the need for AU Member States to strengthen the role and place of tourism within the political discourse in Africa so as to build on the African brand by harmonising policies on the tourism sector. Minister Jean-Paul Adam reassured the AU Commissioner that his country will work with the AU Commission to further strengthen this sector to achieve all the dreams expressed in the 2063 agenda. The Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Seychelles, on his part , hoped that the Ministerial working group will prepare a robust long-term strategy on tourism in Africa that will strengthen the role of the private sector and take into account the promotion of air connectivity among other infrastructures within the continent. “It is important for us as Africans to better connect our countries to create shared opportunities”, Minister Alain ST Ange added. He pointed out that Africa has a huge tourism potential in all aspects of the sector such as natural environmental wonders, exotic wildlife and plants, ancient cultures and historic relics. All these have not yet been well exploited and promoted to the extent of generating commensurate benefit to African countries. A presentation on the AU Agenda 2063 was done during the Ministerial Working Group on Tourism. According to the agenda, the Ministerial working group was called upon to identify and implement interventions that are required to optimize the role of tourism as an engine and a catalyst for economic development and growth in Africa. Some examples, within the AU Agenda 2063 framework were highlighted such as: undertaking joint marketing including packaging and promotion of cross-border tourism attractions; promoting joint projects for infrastructure development and investment– for example, promoting African cross-border investment in hotels, airport, roads, ports; capacity building for people working in the tourism industry; and removing tourism visa constraints among others. *SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)/APO]]>

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Press Statement of the Peace and Security Council on Elections in Africa
March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Members of the SADC, Pan African election observers and journalists listen as ZEC chairman Chiweshe speaks in HarareThe Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 424th meeting held on 12 March 2014, was briefed by the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission on elections in Africa during the first quarter of 2014. The briefing focused on upcoming national elections in Guinea Bissau, Algeria, Malawi and South Africa. Council commended the Department of Political Affairs for its comprehensive report on upcoming national elections in Africa during the first quarter of 2014 and requested the Department to submit to it a list of national elections to be conducted in AU Member States during 2014. Council further listened to the statements made by the representatives of Algeria, Malawi and South Africa on the state of preparations of the upcoming elections in their respective countries. In this regard, Council commended these countries for the efforts they are making to ensure smooth conduct of their elections. Council requested the Department of Political Affairs to make quarterly briefings on national elections in Africa to the PSC as part of AU efforts towards conflict prevention on the continent. Council encouraged the Commission to deploy both long-term and short term election observer missions in countries holding elections and to mobilize necessary resources to this end. *SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)/APO]]>

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

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

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Newly Established “African Union Foundation” Holds Inaugural Promoters’ Meeting in Addis Ababa
February 5, 2014 | 1 Comments

Following the convening of the African Union Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa, the inaugural promoters’ meeting of the newly established “African Union Foundation” was held. The meeting was led by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Her Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma, who is also the founder as legal representative of the African Union. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission presented, the objectives of the Foundation for voluntary contributions towards financing African priorities at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In attendance were the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the AU Commissioners, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. P.J. Patterson,and first members of the inaugural council and guests. Established by the AU Assembly in May 2013, the African Union Foundation aims to finance African priorities through voluntary contributions. The mission of the Foundation is to “mobilize resources in support of the African Union’s vision of an integrated, people-centered and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and taking its rightful place in the world”. To accomplish this mission, the Foundation will focus on five key programme areas in its first five years: 1) skills and human resource development, 2) women’s empowerment and gender equality, 3) regional integration, 4) youth development and entrepreneurship, and 5) advocacy and support for the African Union. “It is time for Africa to mobilize our own resources in support of our development and take charge of our own destiny,” said Chairperson Zuma. The Foundation will strive to more deeply engage Africa’s private sector, African individuals and communities, and leading African philanthropists to generate resources and provide valuable insight on ways in which their success can accelerate Africa’s development. The issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. The AUC Chairperson called on the participants to act as good will ambassadors to the foundation. *SOURCE African Union Commission (AUC)/APO]]>

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Agenda 2063 will be a peoples’ document’ says the Commissioner for Economic Affairs
February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

The Commissioner while emphasizing the ‘bottom-up’ approach of Agenda 2063 as the feature that distinguishes it from previous developmental frameworks, highlighted the important role member states, stake holders, and more importantly the African People have to play in determining the direction of Agenda 2063 so as to truly take ownership of the developmental framework of the continents next 50 years. The already identified stakeholders are the private sector, African academics, think tanks, planning experts and development specialists, civil society organizations, the Diaspora, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU organs and sections of society such as women, youth and the media. Reporting the outcome of the consultative process in developing Agenda 2063, Commissioner Maruping presented the wish for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, the wish for an integrated continent that is politically united and based on the ideals of Pan Africanism, the wish for an Africa of good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law, the wish for a peaceful and secure Africa, the wish for an Africa with a strong cultural identity, values and ethics, the wish for an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on Women and its youthful composition, and the wish for a strong Africa that is an influential global player and partner as the consolidated aspiration of the continent. The consultative process involved establishing a technical support team for the continental level discussion on Agenda 2063, providing the forum for participants to share the vision, propose goals, milestones, key drivers, and priority actions, undertaking technical analysis and review of national plans, regional and continental frameworks and the identification of the preliminary indicators and base line information as well as the development of guidelines for national and regional level consultations. Commissioner Maruping announced the plan to submit the final draft Agenda 2063 document to the AU Summit in July 2014 and urged the media to encourage citizens to participate fully in the development of the agenda. *AU/APO  ]]>

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African Union Commission Launches the African Union Foundation
February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission launched, today, 1st February 2014 the “African Union Foundation” at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In attendance were the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the AU Commissioners, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. P.J. Patterson, invited guests and personalities. Addressing the participants, Dr. Nkosazana stressed that, although the foundation accepts funds from outside donors, there is need to have alternative sources of financing from within Africa so that Africans can claim ownership of the foundation, “we should begin to fund our development ourselves” she said. Ministers of planning and finance have deliberated on the issue but will discuss further in detail in March, she added. Moreover, the issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. The AUC Chairperson called on the participants to act as good will ambassadors to the foundation. Established by the AU Assembly in May 2013 the African Union Foundation aims to finance African Priorities through voluntary contributions. The Foundation will focus mainly on critical issues in line with agenda 2063. Other priorities that will be funded by the foundation include the development of skills and human resource, women’s empowerment and gender equality, regional integration, youth development and entrepreneurship in Africa. Diversity management is also one of the main issues that will be addressed as it is a very important element for peace and stability. The Foundation supports and is derived from the African Union vision of “an integrated, people centered and prosperous Africa, at peace with itself and taking its rightful place in the world”. It is created to accommodate voluntary contribution from African private sector, African individuals, Philanthropic organizations, African Diaspora, companies doing business in Africa and any other donations or contributions. The issue of domestic and alternative sources of funding has been an intrinsic element of the continent’s commitments of the Pan African values of self-determination, solidarity and self-reliance. In this regard, it is deemed necessary for the various players including public, private and civil society to be mobilized to act in partnership to accelerate the pace of integration that has thus far been largely State led. *In Partnership with APO]]>

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Deputy Chairperson of the AUC H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha briefed the press on Institutional Capacity Building
February 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

Mr. Erastus Mwencha Deputy Chairperson of the AUC held a press conference on January 30, 2014 at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. In the briefing he discussed issues related to capacity building and financial independence of the AU and the alternative sources of funding that are being explored. He kicked off the meeting by explaining how capacity should be understood according to the African Union. In his explanation, the first type of capacity concerns having the mandate, structure, and sustainable funding, while the second type is the capacity to develop institutions in Africa that outlive individuals and the last one is the capacity to implement which as he explained includes capacity to mitigate disasters. While talking about the Commission itself, Mr. Mwencha said that different activities are being undertaken to improve internal and external communication, improve systems and methods of engagement to improve stakeholder management and most importantly to strengthen the Commission to be more responsive to the needs of the continent. In order to achieve this, the Deputy Chairperson said a series of actions will be taken, including human resource exercises, increasing the Union’s execution rate, improving communication and corporate governance and work on alternative sources of funding for the AU institutions. In his briefing, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, stressed the need for integration to move forward with the flexibility of taking in member states that are ready, and giving the alternative for the others to join later. As an important driver for the integration, the Commission in collaboration with Council for Infrastructure Development will endeavor to facilitate the implementation of the PIDA projects, aimed at boosting infrastructure and energy. In conclusion, Mr. Erastus Mwencha said that all the actions taken will feed into the new long-term strategic framework for the continent also known as the AU agenda 2063. He also stressed the need for inputs from all stakeholders for its successful completion as the foundation laid in 2014 will set the tone and determine whether a paradigm shift towards the realization of African renaissance is achieved. *Source African Union Commission (AUC)/APO *]]>

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EMAIL FROM THE FUTURE, ELECTION OF NEW CHAIRPERSON AND AWARDS TO PROMINENT AFRICANS MARK OPENING SESSION OF AFRICAN UNION ASSEMBLY MEETING
January 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

An “email from the future” delivered by African Union Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has served to encourage Africa to continue its fifty year development agenda (Agenda 2063), with the confidence that it is possible for the continent to achieve prosperity, integration and peace within that time, or less. Delivered during the opening of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, the email is written to a hypothetical “Kwame Nkrom” by “Nkosazana”. Speaking from the year 2063, after the full implementation of Africa’s Agenda 2063, the email lauds the progress achieved in initiatives that are, at present, being pursued by Africa. These include programmes on achieving an integrated Africa, developing industry and manufacturing, advanced use of information and communication technologies, mastery over the oceans and their wealth, beneficiation of minerals and natural resources, intra African trade, and sufficient infrastructure. In her message to “Kwame”, “Nkosazana” talks about an Africa that has turned itself from an importer of food to a major exporter. “My friend, Africa has indeed transformed herself from an exporter of raw materials with a declining manufacturing sector in 2013, to become a major food exporter, a global manufacturing hub, a knowledge centre,” the email reads. The Africa of 2063, according to the email, isno longer a dark continent but rather one which is lit up using hydro, solar, wind, and geo-thermal energy, in addition to fossil fuels. It isan Africa at peace with itself after having tackled the root causes of conflict. The email compliments the continent’s commitment to invest in its people, especially in the empowerment of young people and women, as being key issues that made peace happen. It mentions the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of Organisation of African Unity held in May 2013 as having been the start of a major paradigm shift: a point where Africa took charge of its own narrative. After reading her “email from the future”, the Chairperson sent a word of encouragement to all of Africa, that the contents of the email can be a reality. “It is impossible until it is done,” she concluded. In the meantime, Dr Dlamini-Zuma announced the appointment of Mrs Binta Diop as Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, “to ensure that the voices of women and the vulnerable are heard much more clearly in peace-building and in conflict resolution”. The opening session of the Assembly was also addressed by the Under Secretary General of the United Nations, who spoke about how the African Union and the United Nations can work together to address pressing crises and to build on Africa’s progress, announcing that “The United Nations is your unwavering partner” in the quest for advancement and growth. The meeting, which elected President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania as the Chairperson of the African Union for the coming one year and Zimbabwe as the first Vice Chairperson, also heard from the newly elected President of the Republic of Madagascar Mr Rajonarimamnianina Rakotoarimanana who paid tribute to his country men and women for making the choice for the restoration of constitutional order and going to the ballot box to elect their leaders. He proclaimed a new dawn for development, peace and security in his country but also added the urgent need for vital assistance for the country to realize its full potential. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa took the floor to express his country’s appreciation for Africa’s support during the death and burial of its former President Mr Nelson Mandela last year. He paid homage to other African countries for having supported and harboured not just the leadership of the struggle against apartheid, but also many other South African liberation fighters and activists. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, Mr. Laurent Salvador Lamothe took to the stage to deliver the message of Haitian solidarity with Africa on behalf of the country’s President, Mr. Michel Joseph Martelly. Ethiopian Prime Minister Mr HaileMariam Desalegn gave his final address as Chairperson of the African Union before handing over to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. A press release on the Prime Minister’s statement as well as the statement itself is available at http://www.au.int *Shared by APO]]>

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Africa: Leveraging the Continent's Resources to Finance Vital Infrastructure – Kaberuka
January 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

Donald Kaberuka has ambitious targets for his second and final five-year term as President of theAfrican Development Bank. At the Bank’s annual luncheon earlier this month, he pinpointed security, peace, stability and job creation as 2014 goalsfor Africa and the multilateral institution he has led since 2005. His legacy would appear secure: the Bank has a triple-A designation from international credit rating firms and has tripled its capital base since 2010. Now Kaberuka – who served as Rwanda’s minister of finance from 1997 to 2005 – is spearheading an ambitious initiative, the Africa50Fund, designed to leverage capital from Africa’s own institutions to attract substantially greater global private equity to finance the continent’s vast infrastructural needs. This week in Abuja, Kaberuka is receiving the “African of the Year” award from the Nigerian newspaper, Daily Trust, which cited “his innovative idea … to speed up the financing of infrastructure in the continent.” Announcing the choice in November, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, a former Tanzanian prime minister and Organisation of African Unity secretary-general, who chairs the selection panel, praised Kaberuka for “bringing to fruition the idea of domestically financed development.” When the award was announced at the African Media Leaders Forum in Addis Ababa, AllAfrica’s Tami Hultman and Reed Kramer interviewed Kaberuka about the Bank’s plans and priorities. Excerpts: Why have you focused on infrastructure as a top priority for the Bank? To put it simply, the current needs of infrastructure in Africa are about U.S. $92 billion a year. At the moment we can monetize from all sources only half that amount – about $50 billion. To mobilize the balance, we decided that we should use the limited amount of public resources available to leverage additional resources in the capital markets. But to do that, we will have to build a vehicle with an equity base based on Africa’s own pools of savings. And on those bases we go into the market to raise money. So how is that vehicle, the Africa50Fund, designed to work? Africa50 is about transformational, commercially viable projects of regional significance. It’s about using Africa’s own savings to leverage the private sector, and it is a tool to make a whole range of projects in the PIDA program – the Priority Infrastructure Development for Africa – bankable and commercially viable. These pools of savings are currently invested in the U.S. and Europe. They are looking for a good return, they are looking for liquidity, and they are looking for security. Africa50 seeks to provide those three. Maybe do even better on the returns. At the moment, because of the QE [quantitative easing, the monetary policy pursued by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, which lowers interest rates] and the financial markets, the return is not particularly attractive. I think we can provide a better return. I think we can provide the liquidity. I think we can provide security, at the same time building Africa’s transformational infrastructure. How can Africa50 deliver a higher return and also finance infrastructural development? I don’t want to walk you through all the sophisticated financial engineering which you have to do, but I’ll just give you an example. Many of these economies are growing at 6 percent. And everywhere on the continent, the maritime ports have become a huge constraint. There’s almost almost no port on the Atlantic or the Indian [Ocean] belt, apart from Durban, which have enough capacity to cope with the growth in the economies. So the demand is there. We are going to go there and expand the port capacities. It’s a commercially viable business. We charge a price. and we shall be able to provide a return to the investors. Let me tell you, in the 1990s, if you told someone that IT-related infrastructure, communications, the mobile phone – that was a good return, they would’ve thought you were crazy! That is where the returns have been very, very interesting. Our analysis at Africa50 is that energy is the next revolution, and next are maritime ports, railways, highways and airports. And how do you mobilize sufficient capital to finance all the needed infrastructural development? We have started with African-owned institutions, including equity provided by the African Development Bank. We’ll go to African central banks who are now holding half a trillion dollars of reserves. We are not naïve enough to think that central banks will invest all of their reserves in an instrument like this, because the reserves have an economic purpose. So we will be targeting them, and we’re looking at sovereign wealth funds for equity. As the project pipeline increases, we are going to market and scale up progressively. We keep hearing about the high growth rate of African economies – but that it too often is “jobless growth”. How do you address that? I think “jobless growth” is not a good definition, although it describes the phenomenon. You have to look at three things. One is the sources of growth, the drivers of growth. In most cases, the drivers of growth are in services and extractives. The biggest employer on the African continent is agriculture. That is not where the source of growth is. So the plain-vanilla solution is basically to do everything we can to invest as much as we can in agriculture and small businesses. That’s where the jobs are created, not in the extractives. The second thing, which is simple math, is that you have an economy growing at nominal rates of six-and-a-half percent and a population increasing at three and a half percent, as we saw when we were recently in the Sahel. In Niger it is four percent. It means you are growing at basically three percent. And if inflation is running at two percent, it means your real growth is one percent. So there is the issue of population increase and drivers of growth, and those two combined have created a huge bout of inequalities, which itself is becoming a break on growth. So we need to tackle inequalities directly. We need to try to return some of the revenues from natural resources into agriculture, into small businesses, which is where jobs are created. But I must say to you, whether you are a small garage owner in northern Nigeria or a woman owning a boutique in the city or you own a cement factory, it is power cuts for half a day for three days a week which eat into your margins, which eat into your possibilities of creating jobs. So this focus on infrastructure is precisely the starting point for creating jobs. You cannot create jobs unless the country has energy which is available, affordable and sustainable. Kaberuka4(1)Finally, we need to rethink safety nets. We need to figure out how to provide a safety net to poor people, whether it is by transferring some money from oil and gas revenues, by removing wasteful subsidies and better targeting them to the poor. All these things can be done. So – tackle inequality, tackle sources of growth, and figure out how to remove some of these barriers to growth like energy.That’s how jobs are created. What do you hope will result from the recent high-level focus on the Sahel after your November visit to Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank and African Union and European Union leaders? The Sahel region is a crucible of the challenges Africa faces. In 1973, the Sahel region faced a huge drought problem. There was a lot of suffering there. Nowadays suffering is the result of security-related problems. When you take the security challenges of the Central African Republic and the Sahel and you add climactic problems, you see clearly the link between development, security, and the climate. Our visit was the first time that leaders of the United Nations, the African Union, World Bank, the European Union and the African Development Bank go together through four nations to learn, to listen, to see how we can help. All of us came back energized by what we saw and determined to rally behind the countries in the Sahel region. The challenge is enormous. We think the response should be appropriate. We have committed to action, and we each play complementary roles. Ban Ki-moon is very much leading on the security side. The AU is leading on the political side, and we the financial organizations rally behind them with the financial packages for reconstruction of the Sahel, for job creation, for integration – to give hope to the region. What is the AfDB role? The Sahel goes from Somalia to Mauritania, so in this case the concentration is on five core countries. We’ve already committed up to $2 billion in those five countries. What I have announced is new money equivalent to $1.9 billion for the next three years. And on top of that, we shall commit an additional $500 million for the ‘greater Sahel’, which means the five core countries plus two additional countries, to execute programs of regional integration and cooperation. The essence of the AfDB’s program is “resilience” – building the capacity of the region to resist climatic shocks or man-made crises like this one. We shall do infrastructure, and we shall do water management and programs of economic integration across the region. *Source All Africa.com]]>

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DRC Inga mega hydropower plant implementation advances with AfDB support
November 24, 2013 | 1 Comments

Tunis, November 20, 2013 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved US $68 million in financing for the multinational Inga Site Development and Electricity Access Support Project (PASEL). The project will further the development of the Inga hydropower plant located on the banks of the Congo River with a vast hydro-electric potential estimated at 44,000 MW – half of the continent’s installed electricity capacity.

The AfDB’s support, which comes in the form of a Fragile States Facility grant of US $7.7 million and an African Development Fund grant of US $60.6 million, accounts for 43% of the total project cost of US $169 million. With this approval, the support of the AfDB to the Inga project, since the inception of the mandate to lead the implementation of the NEPAD Infrastructure Action Plan, will amount to-US $90 million.

PASEL will finalize the preparation of the first phase of the Grand Inga Hydropower Project, called the Inga 3 Project, which will consist of developing a power-generating capacity of 4,800 MW on the Inga site and building power transmission lines that will supply electricity to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and to the Republic of South Africa.

Specifically, this project will facilitate the development of the local institutions and skills necessary (technical, legal and financial advisors will be provided) to attract private capital for the completion of Inga 3 which is a complex project. In addition, capacity-building efforts will enable local actors to make a wise choice for the project’s principal investor-developer under the public-private partnership. Improved access to electricity is also expected in the semi-urban areas of Kinshasa for more than 25,000 households.

“This is the right project for the DRC and the Bank – at the right time,” said Alex Rugamba, Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department. “It is timely because it facilitates the implementation of Inga 3 whose investment costs would otherwise be difficult to mobilize in the current context of the DRC.”

The AfDB’s financing will be used to cover the cost of technical assistance to ensure the completion of preparatory activities for the Inga 3 Project. It will also help address electricity scarcity in remote areas that are not directly covered by Inga but where the DRC intends to develop electrical systems around micro- or mini-hydropower plants. The Bank will put several advisers at the disposal of the Inga Site Development and Promotion Authority and conduct several studies on the Inga project that will generate real-time gains in the overall project schedule.

PASEL builds on previous AfDB support to the Inga Hydropower Project, which led to: the development of institutional and technical plans; a feasibility study, which defined the development pattern of the Grand Inga by successive phases; and the identification of an innovative approach to the project that will guarantee the full realization of Inga’s hydro-electricity potential and promote continental integration.

The Inga 3 Project will increase access to more reliable and cheaper energy in the DRC, contributing to an increase from the current 9% to over 40% by 2020. It is also expected to improve the business climate and productivity of the economies of beneficiary countries.

Current demand for electricity in the region is huge and steady, guaranteeing a market for the energy to be produced from the hydropower plant. Indeed, South Africa has already signed an agreement with the DRC to import about half of the electricity that will be produced, guaranteeing the bankability of project. Signed by the presidents of South Africa and DRC in October 2013, the treaty, which is the framework for the energy-purchase agreement, is awaiting ratification by their respective national parliaments.

 

 

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AfDB Board approves US120 million financing for Nairobi’s outer ring road
November 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

AfDB Board approves US120 million financing for Nairobi’s outer ring road

 Project to take 4 years; starting 2014; Complete road will reduce travel time from 45 to 15 minutes

 african-development-bank-2NAIROBI, Kenya, November 19, 2013/ — The Board of the African Development Bank (http://www.afdb.org) on Wednesday November 13th approved US$120 million financing for the Nairobi Outer Ring road project which involves the improvement of the existing single carriageway road to a 2-lane dual carriageway complete with service roads, grade separated intersections, pedestrians–foot-over bridges, walkways and cycle tracks over the entire length of the road.

The 13-kilometer project, on completion is expected to directly enhance the traffic circulation and eliminate traffic bottlenecks to various economic activity centers such as the industrial zone, and the vast populous residential areas of Eastlands.

AfDB Regional Director for Eastern Africa, Mr. Gabriel Negatu confirmed the financing as a mix of grant and loan from the Africa Development Fund (ADF), with the Government of Kenya as the counterpart financier of the project whose total cost in US$130million.

“The Africa Development Bank Group will provide 89.8% financing for the total project through Africa Development Fund (ADF) loan of US$115.9million and a grant of US$5million. We believe that this road will not only reduce the travel time from the current 45 minutes to 15 minutes, but will also transform the socio-economic welfare of the people living along the transport corridor,” the Director said.

The road traverses Nairobi’s East and North districts serving an estimated population of at least 2.2 million representing some 70% of the Nairobi County population. Other beneficiaries include users of major city connecting arterial roads of: Nairobi-Thika highway, Eastern Bypass, Northern Bypass, Mombasa Road, and onto the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Negatu pointed out that the key outcomes of the project will include improved property values arising from reduced congestion, and improved business environment for informal traders owing to access to new market facilities and improved sanitation.

Other complementary civil works elements include: 250 market stalls and associated sanitary facilities, planting of 4,500 trees along the corridor, children’s traffic safety park, and 3 Wellness centers for HIV/AIDs and related illnesses.

It is further estimated that by improving the existing road, the annual vehicular GHG emission rates in tones in the corridor would drop by at least 70% due to improved average traffic operating speeds along the project corridor particularly, with the integration of the Bus Rapid Transit System as envisaged by the year 2022.

“Our approach to this and every project that we have undertaken is guided by our commitment as a Bank to realize inclusive and green growth in Africa. Under this project, at least 500 disadvantaged youth from the informal settlements will gain from artisan training program aimed at enhancing their skills to assure long-term gainful employment thereafter.” Negatu added.

The Africa Development Bank previously financed the successful completion of the 50km Thika Superhighway, which was jointly financed by the Republic of China and Government of Kenya. Outer Ring Road project brings to 63 the kilometers of roads financed by the Bank within the Nairobi metropolitan.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

About African Development Bank

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group (http://www.afdb.org) is a multi- lateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and the social progress of African countries. The Bank Group comprises three entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).

As the premier development finance institution on the continent the AfDB’s primary objective is to assist African countries – individually and collectively in their efforts to achieve economic development and social progress. The Bank Group finances projects, programs and studies in multiple sectors such as infra- structure, agriculture, health, education, higher education and training, public utilities, environment, climate change, gender, telecommunications, industry and the private sector.

contact: Mercy Randa Tel: +254 771 048 558 / m.randa@afdb.org

 

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