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2010: AfDB Maintained its Robust Commitment to Africa’s Economic Development

  • 2010-A year of institutional renewal and operational consolidation.
  • A year that has set another aggressive development effort in perspective.

When President Donald Kaberuka welcomed the Board of Directors in January 2010, he sounded a strong note that “the year would be extremely challenging as the Bank needed to mobilize additional capital for both the African Development Bank (AfDB) and African Development Fund (ADF) at a moment of scarce resources”.

The year was effectively challenging, especially with the issue of resource mobilization and renewed emphasis on selectivity in interventions. President Kaberuka however expressed his confidence before the Board, “that the challenges would be met if Staff, Management and Executive Directors sharpened their ability to work as “One Bank” on broad strategic issues that would promote the interest of the institution and earn the trust of shareholders and partners.”

Between 2005 and 2009, Bank Group commitments in African countries had recorded a remarkable increase of USD 36 billion in just four years, bringing cumulative commitments from USD 55.2 billion to USD 91.2 billion or 65% increase over the preceding four decades figures.

These commitments are also coupled with high levels of disbursements over the four year period, showing an increase from USD 33.3 billion in 2005 to USD 52.0 billion in 2009 or 57% of the cumulative disbursements over the preceding four decades.

In 2010, initial estimates of total annual lending already indicated nearly USD 6.5 billion, of which nearly two-thirds of the commitments were core operational areas relating to infrastructure. Even if the final annual figures fall short of the performance in 2009, 2010 was a year of operational consolidation, with additional resource mobilization for both the AfDB and ADF being the keynotes of the year.

Consolidation meant that the Bank paid intention on appropriate ownership and performance in criteria, the establishment of new financing facilities, increased involvement climate change, knowledge creation and dissemination, among others.

During the Annual Meetings in Abidjan, the Board of Governors of the Bank took due cognizance that President Donald Kaberuka had contributed in no small measure in enhancing the long-standing credibility which the Bank Group has always enjoyed among its member countries and development partners, particularly given his swift responses to the two successive crises Africa had experienced over the past year. The President of the Bank Group was re-elected by acclamation.

The Bank’s contribution in making the voice of Africa heard received a renewed recognition in 2010. Earlier in the year for example, the Secretary General of the United Nations had designated the Bank’s President in his personal capacity as member of the UN High Panel charged with exploring ways and means of raising USD 30 billion by 2012 and USD 100 billion by 2020 to finance the fight against climate change.

Perhaps the most important achievement of the year was the Bank’s 200% Sixth General Capital Increase which brought the Bank’s authorized capital from USD 35 billion to a colossal amount of about UDS 100 billion.

This was accompanied with a successful ADF XII replenishment of concessionary resources. Linked with the robust resource base of the Bank Group were the conceptualization and approval of various operational strategies and policy documents adopted during the year. These include the Bank Group Capacity Development Strategy, the Fragile State Facility and its Targeted Support Window, the Bank Group Agriculture Sector Strategy 2010-2014, the Bank’s Equity participation in the African Agriculture Fund, etc.

The Bank’s successful implementation of targeted operational policy reforms in 2010 and establishment of special facilities over the past years have upgraded the Bank’s quality at entry as well as operations delivery capacity.

In the area of the battle against climate change, the Bank launched African carbon support project during the year and collaborated with other MDBs on climate change innovation programmes. The Bank inspired African leaders to call for African Green Fund in Cancun in December 2010. The Bank approved Climate Investment Fund Implementation Mechanism and Africa secured as much as USD 810 million in funding from Climate Investment Funds.

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