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Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa - Multilateral Development Banks to Work more closely and with private and public sector partners

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The third international conference on Financing for Development opened on 13 July 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The opening plenary meeting was opened by the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon. The African Development Bank (AfDB) was represented by Mrs. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, its Special Envoy on Gender.

The summit is to discuss new and innovative ways of soliciting funds to pay for the second generation of development programs known as sustainable development goals (SDGs).  The SDGs, a UN-sponsored blueprint, has much wider and loftier ambitions than the Millennium Development goals (MDGs

During  an earlier a meeting on 13 July, the Heads of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) vowed to work more closely and with private and public sector partners to help mobilize the resources needed to meet the historic challenge of achieving the new initiative- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The keys points of discussions included:

  • The SDG agenda is ambitious and will require significantly more resources than the MDGs. While the discussion during the MDGs was on aid and debt forgiveness, the conversation has now changed and is about what countries can do for themselves. Hence the focus is much more on domestic resource mobilization and creating an environment for crowding in private sector finance.
  • Africa in 2015 is very different from the Africa at the turn of the century. With over a decade of sustained economic growth, Africa today has options which it did not previously have. More and more African countries are becoming creditworthy and accessing international capital markets - more than US$ 7 billion in 2014 alone. Similarly, African economies are increasingly financing their own development themselves through increased domestic revenues. During the last fifteen years, there has been a 4 fold increase in domestic revenues mobilized by African economies - in excess of $500 billion in 2015. That is ten times the amount of aid that Africa received in that year.
  • The African Development Bank is at the center of this process of transformation and has a Ten Year strategy designed to meet the changing needs of the continent. The AfDB is innovating with new instruments, such as providing qualified ADF only countries with access to ADB resources; the creation of the Africa 50 Fund to scale up infrastructure financing; and an innovative exposure exchange with other multilateralism to leverage our balance sheet to scale up lending to North Africa, where we have high levels of exposure.
  • In the In coming years, MDBs will need to reevaluate the efficacy of their business models to make sure that they evolve with the changing needs of their clients in order for them to make sure that they remain true partners in development.

The group comprises African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank Group (referred to as the MDBs), and the International Monetary Fund.

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