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Tunis, 20 July 2009 – During the first half of 2009, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group recorded positive results with actual delivery far exceeding the performances recorded during the same period last year, according to the Bank Group’s “2009 Mid Year Budget and Performance Report” presented to the Board of Directors on Monday.
The report shows that overall, the 2009 work programme was on schedule, with 39% of the yearly target delivered compared to 15% last year. Project Completion Report (PCR) coverage shot up to 96% from a yearly target of 40% while capital budget allocation show good alignment to Bank strategy with 54% allocated to ICT and 19% to other projects mainly addressing decentralization needs.
The Key Performance Indicators on decentralization also show positive performance with projects managed by field offices exceeding the target by 3% at 8%, just as field office expenditures stood at 11% from a 17% target.
During the period in review, the Board approved operations for a total amount of UA 1,588.29 million (excluding HIPC and AfDB Special Assistance SRF and other Grants) reaching overall 39% of the yearly target set at UA 4,087 million
Regarding lending, the AfDB window approved operations reached UA 445.47 million and UA 379.60 million for the Public and Private windows, respectively (33% and 45% of the targets). ADF operations amounted to UA 763.22 million or 40% of the target. There were also operations not calculated against the yearly targets, namely: (i) an amount of UA 316.72 million approved in respect of the Fragile States Facility mechanism and (ii) a budget support operation for Botswana under the AfDB Public window, as countercyclical measure against the financial crisis, of UA 968.96 million.
In response to the financial crisis, the Bank rolled out two lending initiatives, the ELF and the TFI, and has been working on some large (and un-planned) Budget Support Operations. They underline the flexibility with which the Bank is responding to the crisis and the ease of resource reallocation that the enhanced budget processes are providing to Management. Those “over the targets” operations are also made possible as a result of continuous effort for greater efficiency in delivering a wider span of operations within the approved resource envelope.
On planned activities in the area of Knowledge Management Products, the report highlighted satisfactory performance on delivery for new Country Strategy Papers (CSPs). However, performance on other CSP related documents, CPRs and ESWs is still low as most of them have been scheduled for the third and fourth quarters.
The report said disbursements were on target, with a total UA 1,909.68 million disbursed as at end of June (54% of the yearly target). The execution is evenly distributed, in line with expectations and more than doubling the amounts disbursed in the same period last year. It is important to note that to allow flexibility in reacting to the financial crisis, the targets for ADB and ADF windows could be subject to in-year realignment.
With regard to portfolio, the report says Bank performance during the first six months of 2009 was positive. Achievement on projects at risk stands at 41%, very close to the yearly target set at 40%. Problematic Projects Rate is 8% and 13%, respectively for OSVP and OIVP. Supervision activities are on target, with an increased role played by AfDB Field Offices. The portion of portfolio directly managed by field-based task managers stands at 8%, which is already higher than the target for the year set at 5
On human resources, it said the accelerated recruitment process resulted in the assumption of duty of 84 new professional (PL) staff between 1 January and 30 June 2009. Although the vacancy rate on 30 June of 19% requires improvement, it is expected to drop significantly later in the year as candidates in the recruitment pipeline assume duty. Among the reasons for the current high vacancy rate is the approval of 119 new positions in the 2009 Budget. Furthermore, there are 15 positions allocated to field offices which are yet to be operational (Angola, Algeria & South Africa). In addition, 32 PL staff left the Bank during this period through retirements and separations. The overall vacancy rate of 19% can be split into three main categories: 14% is due to the effect of additional positions (119), staff for unopened offices (15), and departures (32). The remaining 5% is due to vacancies carried over from 2008.
Overall, the report showed that Bank was on schedule to deliver the 2009 work programme, with lending targets expected to be met by year end; through some of the non-lending targets such as Economic and Sector Work (ESWs) are behind the originally planned schedule, with the possibility of under-delivery at year end.
“Lessons have been learnt from the experience in 2008 on the spread of delivery of the lending programme. It is expected that the level of bunching experienced at the end of 2008 will be avoided. In fact, total lending as at end of June stands at 39% against the yearly target, which is more than double the 15% delivery at the end of June 2008,” the report notes.