The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) committed USD 12.6 billion to finance projects, programmes and investments in its Regional Member Countries (RMCs) in 2009. This is more than double the USD 5.5 billion committed in 2008.
"We provided frontloaded additional budget support, trade finance and liquidity. Our private sector window filled the gap left by sponsors of key infrastructure projects," the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, said at the opening of the Bank’s Annual Meetings on Thursday in Abidjan.
He said in providing the support, the Bank was flexible, innovative and proactive, while cutting down reaction time considerably.
He said that the African Development Fund (ADF) window alone increased its disbursement by 5 percent in 2009.
“The Bank was able to react swiftly, because of its growing effectiveness. A growing effectiveness built on the cumulative changes which have taken place at the Bank over this decade and especially over the last three years,” he said.
He added that "An effectiveness resulting from decentralization, responsiveness to clients, sustained focus on our priorities, built on a robust financial position, and reflecting our growing franchise value.”
"The annual report before you; the financial presentation on Tuesday (24 May 2010) give you a flavor of where your Bank is today; strong: robust finances, focused and effective operations, and a changing institution," he pointed out.
According to him, the Bank continues to enjoy its AAA rating from all major rating institutions, while its three support windows are reporting positive results in spite of the turbulent international finance situation.
Despite the crisis in the global financial systems, the Bank continued to have access to capital markets for its borrowing programme and it was this financial strength that enabled the Bank to continue to effectively deploy its balance sheet.
"It is such a strong result that enables us this year to deploy USD165 million, out of the net income of USD 346 million generated in 2009 to support a number of development initiatives, including increased contribution to the ADF," he said.
The Bank replenished its soft window, the ADF, three years ago with a record 50 percent increase, and allowed some budget growth to build capacity and a proposal for a general capital increase has been approved by AfDB Governors.
"We are humbled by the confidence which this historic step signifies. But beyond the Bank, this decision to grow a strong, world-class African Bank is a vote of confidence in a resurging Africa, he said.
"The timing is right to build strong, world-class African Institutions – at a time when Africa is repositioning, building internal markets, and integrating more closely within the global community," he said.