UK Doubles Contribution to African Development Fund

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UK Doubles Contribution to African Development Fund

"This is historical and demonstrates confidence in the AfDB", says President Donald Kaberuka.

Tunis, 27 November 2007 - The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 that it is doubling its contribution to the 11th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF XI), the first shareholder to do so. The UK contribution will be £417 million, approximately US$ 863 million, and effectively twice the amount of its contribution from the previous replenishment.

Douglas Alexander the UK International Development Secretary made the announcement whilst on a visit to Tanzania.

"This is the biggest contribution that the UK has made to the African Development Fund", he said. "It demonstrates our commitment to help build African institutions, our confidence in the reform process being undertaken by the African Development Bank, and our belief that the Fund can effectively support development in Africa's poorest countries. I'm calling for all donors to increase their support for the Africa Development Fund at the final replenishment meeting in London in December."

In his reaction to the announcement, the African Development Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, welcomed the announcement describing it as a concretization of commitments to double aid to Africa, a major boost to the concessional window of the Bank's capacity to support low income countries in Africa over the period 2008-2010. He expressed his hope and expectations that other donors will follow suit to raise the ambitions of the ADF XI.

"I greatly welcome this announcement and applaud the continuing leadership shown by the UK in its support to Africa and in implementing the commitments made by the G8. I value the confidence shown in the Bank as an African institution. I know this announcement is based on an expectation of improved performance by the Bank. That is no less than Africa itself expects from us, and we are determined to deliver," he added.

Going forward, Mr. Kaberuka underscored the determination of the Bank to make a major contribution to poverty reduction and the MDGs through growth by improving the productive capacity in Africa, promoting economic integration, investing in infrastructure, private sector development, developing the skills needed to be competitive, as well as stepping up engagement in fragile states.

He said the Bank aims at continuously changing into an organisation which is dynamic, flexible, and able to better respond to the diverse needs of African countries. "We are making progress in restructuring the Bank so that there is a greater focus on results, strengthening country focus, decentralization and synergy with other stakeholders. The reform programme will continue," he further said.

He said the Bank has the capacity to channel effectively additional resources to Africa, adding that the final replenishment meeting in London on 10/11 December will agree on a comprehensive action plan and results framework. "We are ready to be judged on our results," he emphasized.

"I very much hope that other shareholders will raise the ambitions and also pledge contributions to the replenishment consistent with the needs of Africa today and with the growing capacity of the Bank to deliver," Mr. Kaberuka said.

The African Development Bank is a major source of development finance in Africa. It is crucial in helping African countries work towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals. In recent years the Bank has made significant reforms to become more effective.  The amount committed to ADF-10 was US$ 5.40 billion (2004-2007).

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