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Abidjan, 25 May 2010 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved USD 6 billion (UA 3.9 billion) for the provision of modern and affordable infrastructure in regional member countries in 2009.
The Bank Group’s Vice President in charge finance, Thierry de Longuemar, said at the presentation of the 2009 financial statements of the Bank Group on Tuesday 24 May 2010 in Abidjan ahead of its annual meetings of the Bank. This amount represents 52 percent of the approvals by the institution during the year.
The key infrastructure projects approved in 2009 included airport projects in Morocco and Tunisia, national road projects in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda.
The others are multinational road projects connecting Cameroon-Nigeria, Cameroon-Gabon, Kenya-Ethiopia and Mozambique-Malawi-Zambia.
The Bank, according to Mr De Longuemar, approved power projects in Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia.
Water sector projects in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt were also approved by the Bank in 2009.
The Bank Group’s support to the private sector in 2009 was USD 1.8 billion (UA1.16 billion), up from USD 1.4 billion (UA901) in 2008.
Some of the projects supported included the USD 35 million trade finance facility for Ghana, financing International marketing of Ghana’s 2009 cocoa harvest; USD 5 million loan to Liberia Bank for Development and Investment and the USD 55 million for submarine fiber optic cable.
On regional integration, the Bank committed USD 685 (UA453.2) million which covered projects in regional infrastructure development and institutional capacity building, close collaboration with the African Union, Economic Commission for Africa, African Peer Review Mechanism, Budget review and public procurement.
In supporting the recovery process in fragile states, the Bank Group approved USD 551 million (UA 364.8 million) in 2009 to finance 12 operations in Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Comoros and Central Africa Republic.
Speaking on the Bank’s performance and capacity to meet future demands, Mr De Longuemar said that the Bank’s risk bearing capacity “remains sound and that the increase in general capital would strengthen the Bank’s capacity to fulfill its development mandate and meet the level of future demands.
Apart from retaining its AAA ratings in 2009, the Bank achieved a “stunning pricing” on its USD 1 billion three-year global bond.
“A USD 1 billion two-year global bond for the African Development Bank was the only successful transaction while… The AfDB continued its strong run in the dollar market. Its bond attracted demand of USD 1.44 billion and with 75 percent of orders from central banks, and the book was closed ahead of schedule to avoid allocation problems…” the Bank’s financial statement said.