Participants in the African Development Fund have reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Africa’s continuing process of economic transformation, with a total replenishment amount of $7.3 billion for 2014 to 2016. Millions of Africans stand to benefit from improved energy supply, transport networks, water and sanitation, education and agricultural productivity.
Representatives from 27 participating countries (four of which are African) on Thursday, September 26, concluded their discussions on the thirteenth replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-13). The ADF is the concessional window of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, which contributes to poverty reduction and economic and social development in low-income African countries.
Participants agreed on a replenishment amount of $7.3 billion for the 2014 to 2016 cycle, of which $1 billion will be dedicated to a special facility for fragile states. The replenishment includes donor contributions of $5.8 billion, representing a slight increase over their contributions for ADF-12 (2011-2013). Several countries made significant efforts to ensure a robust replenishment despite a tough budgetary context.
The Fund will help to improve the lives of millions of people across Africa. Under ADF-13, an estimated 20 million are expected to be connected to reliable and affordable energy; 19 million to gain improved access to transport; 7.5 million to have access to water and sanitation; 3 million will have opportunities for vocational and technical training; and 7 million to benefit from increased agricultural productivity.
“I warmly welcome these pledges, which have been made at a time of tough budget choices. They represent a powerful signal of support for Africa, and for the Bank’s vision for inclusive and sustainable growth. They further strengthen our capacity to deliver on our ambitious agenda around infrastructure, economic integration, private-sector development, with greater emphasis on accelerating gender equality and addressing the challenges of fragility in Africa. Innovation will continue to be critical in maximizing the leverage potential of the concessional resources which were mobilized today,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank.
Participants acknowledged the positive impact of the ADF on the lives of African people. Richard Manning, the ADF-13 coordinator, observed that: “The critical role of the AfDB Group in realizing Africa’s transformation and addressing vital issues of development, such as fragility, has never been more evident. That is why – despite real constraints and budget cuts for most of the contributing countries – participants recognized the Bank Group’s relevance and efficiency, and expressed their strong support for and trust in the African Development Fund.”
Participants welcomed the fact that African countries continued to increase their role, with Libya and Angola joining South Africa and Egypt as contributors to the Fund.
Recognizing the importance of the private sector in promoting growth in low-income African countries, participants endorsed two new credit-enhancing instruments – the Partial Credit Guarantee and the Private Sector Credit Enhancement Facility – which are designed to attract private capital for transformational development projects.
ADF beneficiary countries were represented by delegates from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. Collectively, they underscored the need for the AfDB Group to “continue to support African countries’ efforts to reduce poverty, promote inclusive growth and improve lives of their citizens.” They acknowledged that “the African Development Bank Group is mobilizing the financing needed to reduce the infrastructure gap which costs Africa so much in terms of missed opportunities and GDP.” They also stressed that “the Bank Group spurs our ambition and growth, and stands by our side in both difficult and more favourable times.”
Benoit Chervalier, Head of the Resource Mobilization and Allocation Unit at the African Development Bank, said: “We are hopeful that even more African countries will be able to contribute to the Fund, particularly as ADF beneficiary countries transition to become middle-income economies. The continent is taking ownership of its own development.”
French AfDB Governor and Treasury Director General Ramon Fernandez concluded: “The African Development Bank Group is a regional public good, which plays a unique role in helping the African continent to reach its full potential. We fully trust the African Development Bank Group to put its comparative advantage at the service of the transition of all African economies, as they move towards sustainable and inclusive growth.”
All participants expressed their appreciation to the Government of France for hosting the meeting.