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Turning Billions to Trillions in pursuit for sustainable development


President of the African Development Bank Group, Donald Kaberuka, recently participated in a panel discussion that sought to explore new approaches to help countries harness national resources more effectively.

The event, “Billions to Trillions- Ideas into Action”, happened on the sidelines of the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa.  It followed a recent announcement by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend more than $400 billion in financing over the next three years. 

The panel, which also included World Bank Group’s  president, Jim Yong Kim, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director, Min Zhu, and the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, discussed  how to build on MDB’s business model to leverage additional finance, give voice to the private sector, and strengthen public-private collaboration.

They shared their vision on development finance, setting the scene for the upcoming SDG Summit. Ban Ki-moon underscored the importance of the joint efforts by World Bank Group, regional development banks, and the UN. He described them as “critical” to transforming commitments in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda – the expected outcome of the Financing for Development conference - into a vigorous global partnership for sustainable development.

“Now is the time to translate the best ideas and expertise of all our institutions into action. To go from billions in official assistance to trillions in investments, we'll have to push even our willingness further to collaborate through creative partnerships,” said Jim Yong Kim.

The financial institution leaders also vowed to work more closely with private and public sectors to help mobilize needed resources in order to achieve SDGs, which countries are expected to adopt in September 2015.

Moon cited three areas where the efforts to turn billions into trillions will be most crucial, beginning with bridging infrastructure financing gaps, particularly in Africa. He also reiterated the call in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which requires financial institutions to promote regional integration. Moon expressed the need for increased investments in addressing hunger and malnutrition, including promoting sustainable agriculture.

“The Millennium Development Goals have significantly addressed poverty reduction and social development. Now we must tackle the unfinished business of the MDGs, consolidate achievements and put our world on a more sustainable and equitable trajectory,” he stated.

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