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The African Development Bank (AfDB) is consciously contributing to Africa’s development and it is achieving results.
According to the Bank’s Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) 2015, 70 percent of the Bank’s indicators are on track. The publication, part of a series produced by the Bank’s Quality Assurance and Result’s Department, provides an overview of Africa’s development achievements and trends, reviews the AfDB’s contribution to development results on the continent, and looks at how well the Bank manages its operations and own organization.
The fifth edition of the publication was issued at the 50th Anniversary Annual Meetings of the Bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
While acknowledging that Africa is making gradual progress, the report notes that the continent’s energy deficit remains very large. The overall electrification rate increased from 38 percent in 2005 to 42 percent in 2013, even as populations grew at a faster rate. Average electricity consumption also edged up, from 666 to 690 KWh/year.
However, Africa is still far behind other developing regions, it states.
The review indicates that the AfDB is contributing to the energy sector in Africa.
“The Bank’s approach to supporting the energy sector has evolved over the years. The 1994 Energy Sector Policy concentrated primarily on institutional reforms and capacity development in the energy sector, with the goal of helping to unlock private investment. We helped to improve pricing policies, management practices and maintenance regimes,” it reads.
The report states that after a few years, however, it became clear that private investment was not forthcoming, and therefore the Bank decided to support its regional member countries by scaling up its investments in major infrastructure development.
“For the past two decades, some 12 percent of AfDB investments have gone into the energy sector. Most went towards building national generation capacity and distribution networks, with an emphasis on rural electrification to promote inclusive growth,” it notes.
Since 2009, the Bank has contributed to financing over 1,900 MW of new generation capacity and over 15,000 km of transmission lines, according to the review.
“Through these efforts, we have provided 567,000 people with new electricity connections and over 14 million people with improved access to electricity,” the review states.
In pursuant of the Bank’s two-prong objectives of inclusive growth and transition to green growth, the review notes that the Bank has provided $32 billion in lending, knowledge and advisory services.
The Bank also plans to set up centres of excellence in biomedical science and engineering to build human capital for the continent.