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Africa’s economic growth which remained strong in 2013 in a good number of African countries should improve further in 2014. That is the backdrop to the call made in Kigali on May 21 by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Donald Kaberuka, during the presentation of the Bank's Annual Report. He warned that because the fruits of growth have to be shared more equitably to be sustainable, job creation remains the absolute priority everywhere.
This mobilisation is all the more necessary as the global economy shows tentative signs of recovery, he added. Nevertheless, in emerging countries withdrawing monetary stimulation measures could have a slowing effect on growth.
According to Kaberuka, AfDB support for its member countries remains constant. That is why in 2013, the Bank committed US $6.7 billion to projects and programmes in Africa, 3% up in real terms compared to the previous year.
"Consistent with our strategy, most of these investments were dedicated to infrastructure. The fall in the global level of funding on the AfDB side has been largely offset by the increase in African Development Fund (ADF) our concessional arm funding," he added. In this regard, Kaberuka praised member countries for their contributions to the ADF.
He said that in spite of the prevailing fiscal austerity, the 13th replenishment of the ADF was satisfactorily concluded in September 2013. He also welcomed the new members who have joined the fund – Libya, Angola and Turkey – and expressed the hope that other African countries would soon do the same.
The AfDB commenced the implementation of its Ten-Year Strategy in 2013. The Bank also initiated efforts towards the establishing a new vehicle for mobilising resources within Africa and elsewhere in the world to finance infrastructure projects on the African continent. The Bank’s decentralisation programme is also showing steady progress. The Bank’s close relations with African countries impact favourably on its actions and dialogue with its partners. Created in 1964, the AfDB is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.