AfDB Posts Strong 2012 Operations Results, Launches New Strategic Focus on Inclusive Growth

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group posted good operational results in 2012, the Bank’s Treasurer, Pierre Van Peteghen, said in Marrakech on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.

Presenting the Bank’s 2012 operations results at its Annual Meetings in the Moroccan city, Van Peteghen also announced that the Bank has developed a Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) which focuses on “inclusive growth.”

During the financial presentation which was attended by over a thousand delegates including the Governors of the 77 Member States of the Bank, he said the institution continues to maintain its AAA with a stable outlook by all the major global rating agencies.

He attributed the good positive ratings to the Bank’s strong shareholder support, robust financial strength and prudent management policies.

At the end of 2012, the capital of the Bank amounted to US $8.2 billion.

Some figures underline the financial health of the institution, founded in 1964 to promote the economic development and social progress of its African member countries.

These include the Bank’s debt ratio which dropped to 50% at end-2012 from 86% in 2009; a 95% cash ratio; and a US $339 million surplus account, during the period in review.

The good results, coupled with strong economic growth in African economies estimated at 6.6%, in 2012, have enabled the AfDB to begin the implementation of its new development strategy.

According to Van Peteghen, the strategy has two key pillars: structural transformation of the African economies based on inclusive and green growth.

The objectives of the strategy would be achieved through five long-term operational priorities: infrastructure development, regional integration, private sector development, improved transparency coupled with good governance, and higher education and science and technology.

According to figures published in the Bank’s 2012 Annual Report, the AfDB, devotes 49% of its investment budget to infrastructure projects (energy, water and transport), which amounted to US $2.7 billion in 2012.

Van Peteghen cited the Bamako-Dakar Corridor (four-lane asphalt road which reduced the distance between the two locations by 200 km as well as creating thousands of jobs); the Ouarzazate solar power generation project in Morocco (500 kW), as well as the 1000 km high tension electricity distribution line between Ethiopia and Kenya that will connect 1.4 million people with electricity and result in lower CO2 emissions estimated at 7 million tonnes per year, as some of major infrastructure projects realized by the Bank recently.

To sustain these good results, the Bank also wants to be innovative in terms issuing bonds on the international capital markets (30% in Asia, 19% in Africa, 14% in Europe and 20% in the Middle East) and in national economies.

Similarly, the AfDB proposes the creation of a “base 50 Africa” fund which, according to Van Peteghem, will help attract new capital for infrastructure projects in Africa.

On the Bank’s decentralization, he said a timetable would be drawn for a phased return of AfDB staff to its headquarters in Abidjan. He also said that four new field offices would be established in 2013 in Congo, Benin, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritania, in addition to 34 existing offices across the continent.

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