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“Nations may go through fragility, but they can exit and become stable, dynamic, prosperous and resilient to debilitating shocks,” says Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina has called for greater financial resources to expand the work of the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the Bank Group.
Adesina made the appeal on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of a meeting to discuss the 15th replenishment of the Fund, held from 1 to 3 July in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.
Adesina said the Fund had played a substantial role in fragile African countries. The opening ceremony of the meeting was attended by representatives of the Fund’s 33 donor countries, as well as Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar.
In situations of fragility or extreme poverty, the intervention of the African Development Fund has often produced spectacular results. In Madagascar, projects supported by the Fund have tripled rice yields in irrigated areas, boosting agricultural incomes by around 140%. The Sahofika hydroelectric project, located 100 kilometers from the Malagasy capital, is expected to reduce electricity costs by 500%.
Excerpts from the speech of the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina
“During the heat of political upheavals here, while all other donors left the country, one remained. That institution is us – the African Development Bank Group. The ADF helped to bolster weak institutions, improve access to basic services like water and sanitation and build sustainable infrastructure.”
“It’s an ongoing business to tackle poverty, inequality and fragility. An ongoing business to address climate change, gender biases, as well as tackle corruption, illicit capital flows, poor management of natural resources, building quality infrastructure and connecting nations. An ongoing business to entrench better economic and political governance.”
“Nations may go through fragility, but they can exit and become stable, dynamic, prosperous and resilient to debilitating shocks. That’s our goal for the ADF: a powerful instrument to help build resilience of Low Income Countries. For at the end of the day, for the Africa Continental Free Trade Area to work, we cannot integrate fragile states; we can only integrate resilient states.”
“The ADF is all about unleashing hope for the least developed countries. Unleashing opportunities. Unleashing prosperity in the midst of challenges. Unleashing pride and determination to succeed, against all odds,” Adesina said.
The African Development Fund has, this year, inaugurated the bridge between Gambia and Senegal, a dream since 1974, realized in January 2019 because of the ADF.
Thanks to the highway between Addis Ababa and Mombasa, trade between Ethiopia and Kenya increased by 400%. As for the Kazungula bridge linking Botswana, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it will reduce the waiting time at the borders from 14 days to just one hour!
President Adesina urged countries to be generous in this 15th replenishment of the African Development Fund, which has touched and transformed the lives of more than 200 million Africans between 2011 and 2018. The last replenishment meeting of the Fund will take place at 3rd quarter of the year 2019.
Key quotes from the President of Madagascar, who called on the Fund to help his country become the rice paddy of the Indian Ocean, as the island currently imports some 500,000 tons of rice.
“The resources are within our reach to be able to respond to the local demand for food. We need to create agricultural value chains.”
Another paradox, Madagascar, 2nd world producer of lychee, continues to import the juice instead of producing it locally.
At the end of its three-year (ADF-14) replenishment cycle, the African Development Fund will have invested some $48 billion in low-income countries since its creation in 1973. For the period 2011-2018 alone, the Fund has contributed to: better access to electricity for 11 million people; improved agricultural techniques for 90 million people; better access to transportation for 67 million people. Some 714,000 small and micro enterprises benefited from funding, 36 million people from improved water and sanitation services, and more than 4 million people had access to education.