ADB to emphasize African currencies in 2006 Funding Programme

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Tunis, 18 January 2006 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday approved the 2006 borrowing programme of up to 850 million Units of Account (UA*), equivalent to USD 1.2 billion and commended the Bank’s efforts in highlighting the potential for African currencies through its highly successful issue in Botswana Pula in December 2005, which is the first true Eurobond issue in that currency.

"The Board has expressed full confidence in our funding strategy that aims to provide cost-effective funding to member countries while bringing visibility to the continent and its success stories", said Arunma Oteh, Treasurer of the Bank, after the Board meeting.

"While in 2005 the Bank made its now well established annual appearance in the bond markets through a benchmark global issue, the Pula issue and the success of our efforts in achieving a settlement status for the currency with international clearing houses is indeed satisfying. We will leverage on the momentum generated by this breakthrough to do more for the development of African debt markets in 2006," she added.

The approved borrowing programme for 2006 will ensure that the Bank has sufficient liquidity to meet its cash flow requirements while providing the flexibility to access various segments of capital markets and diversify its investor base, as reflected in the execution of the 2005 borrowing programme.

Against an approved borrowing programme of UA 550 million for 2005, the Bank raised UA 547 million through a combination of a US$ 500 million global issue, a 900 million South African Rand uridashi, a 300 million Botswana Pula issue and many structured private placement transactions in the Japanese market.

The African Development Bank is the premier development finance institution in Africa and enjoys AAA ratings from international rating agencies Fitch Ratings, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Japan Credit Rating Agency.

* 1 UA = 1.42927 US$ as at 31/12/2005

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