In 2013, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved 317 operations representing a total of UA 4.39 billion (1 UA = USD 1.55), financed as follows: AfDB: UA 1.83 billion; African Development Fund: UA 2.27 billion; Nigeria Trust Fund: UA 31.2 million and Special Funds: UA 253.4 million.
Thus, operations approved for infrastructure mainly in the transport and energy sectors absorbed the majority of the Bank Group's resources, even though other basic priorities such as development of the private sector, agriculture and multi-sector operations (aiming to strengthen governance and accountability) also benefited from support.
During the year, the Bank Group approvals in the infrastructure field amounted to UA 2.05 billion (57.6%), the transport sub-sector attracting the majority of the funds (32.2%).
The Bank launched projects worth UA 1.18 billion in the fields of transport, ICT and related infrastructure. The container terminal project in the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia (valued at UA 198.4 million) will enable the creation of a quality maritime link for many landlocked countries in the region.
In 2013, the Bank Group operations in the energy sector (public and private sector loans and grants) amounted to UA 569.1 million, with public sector operations accounting for 57.9% of this overall amount. From a total of UA 128.2 million, the Bank financed an electricity interconnection project between Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone which will have important implications for regional integration.
It also made a UA 44.4 million contribution to preparations for the first phase of another major project, the Grand Inga 3 hydroelectric project in Democratic Republic of the Congo. When complete, this project will produce 4,800 MW, supplying both the domestic market and electricity exported to South Africa.
Water supply and sanitation
During the year, the Bank Group approved operations in the water supply and sanitation sector amounting to UA 356.8 million, including special funds transactions. These operations, namely the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative, the African Water Facility and the Multi-Donor Water Partnership Program, supported projects in 18 regional member countries (RMCs).
Total approvals for regional operations reached UA 1.32 billion in 2013, an increase of 37.8% over 2012. The bulk of this was for infrastructure (51.8%), followed by the financial sector (40.5%).
Credit lines, trade finance and equity
In partnership with other bodies, the Bank also financed socio-economic initiatives in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Mano River region.
In November 2013, the President of the Bank and other senior officials, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, went to the Sahel to assess the situation and determine the support that the international community could provide.
Private sector and Africa50 fund
In 2013, the AfDB financed 37 private sector operations amounting to UA 1.05 billion, a 39.4% increase over 2012. The financing, mainly in the form of guarantees, credit lines and equity, amounted to 65.5% of these operations and energy – principally renewable energy such as the Lake Turkana wind farm project in Kenya – accounted for 22.9%. Agriculture absorbed 11.3% of the total, along with agribusiness projects and fertilizer production.
In the course of the year, the Bank launched the Africa50 Fund, an innovative financing vehicle for infrastructure that aims to mobilise private funds to quicken the pace of infrastructure construction, which will create a new platform for growth in Africa.
In 2013, the Bank Group approved 54 projects and programmes to support good governance in 30 countries, with a total value of UA 465.7 million. These focused on strengthening policies and institutions to improve effectiveness, transparency and accountability in the management of public finances, as well as on the creation of a better investment climate to promote growth driven by the private sector.
Development of skills and human capital
In 2013, the Bank Group provided some UA 337.9 million for skills development and the promotion of human development.
Two projects were approved in Morocco: one to promote a better fit between people's skills and employers' needs, and the other to reform health insurance. Equally important was the financing in Rwanda and Senegal of skills development projects for young people.
Areas of particular interest: agriculture and food security, gender, fragile states
Total approvals in the fields of agriculture and food security amounted to UA 530.5 million in 2013, UA 101.9 million of which were for special funds.
Projects approved include the renovation of infrastructure to develop agricultural production, fishing and animal husbandry, the construction of access and service roads, the preservation of biodiversity, the strengthening of climate resilience and the sustainable management and conservation of forests.
In 2013, a Special Envoy on Gender was appointed to lead the Bank's programme in this sphere, while the draft Gender Strategy was finalised and was approved by the Board of Directors in early 2014.
In addition, preparation of country strategy papers for Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast and Kenya, whose missions included gender issues specialists, were used as a basis for the integration of this issue into all Bank operations.
The Bank’s Fragile States Unit became a fully-fledged department and the High-Level Panel report on Fragile States, led by the President of Liberia, was presented at the African Union summit in January 2014. It opens new perspectives for solving socio-economic fragility in Africa.