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Abidjan, 27 May 2010 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, says the AfDB portfolio window has doubled from USD 8.5 billion to USD 15.6 billion in four years.
Mr. Kaberuka said at the opening of the Bank Group’s Annual Meetings on Thursday 27 May 2010 in Abidjan that approvals for the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the Group, increased by 68 percent in four years, while outstanding loans (excluding the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) had doubled.
The Bank’s non-performing assets decreased by 62 percent, representing only 4 percent of its total loan portfolio.
This achievement, according to Mr. Kaberuka, is as a result of strong portfolio monitoring, and arrears clearance mechanism from the Fragile State Facility.
Going forward, projections indicate a strong growth profile over the next five years, for the Bank’s two windows.
With a General Capital Increase-VI, and assuming ADB lending of around USD 5.5 billion per year, the outstanding loans and equity will reach USD 30.2 billion in 2015.
Infrastructure of all types now account for 52 percent of the Bank's portfolio while response to power outages and energy shortage in many countries was given special attention, accounting for 57 percent of infrastructure outlays.
“The private sector lending of the Bank has continued to expand with total annual lending in 2009 at USD1.8 billion, compared to just under USD 400 million four years ago, financing maritime ports in Dakar and Djibouti and renewable energies in Cape Verde,” he said.
The Bank would increase coverage to more countries, do more private sector lending in low-income countries – already covered by more than 60 percent of such lending.
One of the most visible successes of the Bank has been the initiative on fragile states, from arrears clearance in Côte d’Ivoire and Togo to rebuilding key infrastructure in Liberia and Burundi, and boosting capacity in the Central African Republic .
The Fragile State Facility is contributing to the recovery of many post-conflict countries and the normalization of their relations with the international financial system.
The Bank's flagship water programmes have continued to improve rural access to clean water, better health outcomes and retention of girl school children.
As the global crisis - hopefully - abates, the Bank will return to its core business, namely; addressing the structural bottlenecks to economic growth, obstacles that delay Africa’s ability to free itself from poverty and dependence.
Those obstacles include the massive infrastructure deficit, the shallow fragmented markets (due to limited integration), the paucity of skills for a competitive economy, the weak institutions that emanate from and reinforce poor governance, and instability.