President Akufo-Addo has appealed to a select group of the board of governors to the African Development Bank (AfDB), to do everything within their power to support efforts aimed at transforming the bank into the preferred multi-lateral financing institution for Africa’s development.
This suggestion, the President made when he addressed a select group of the governors of the AfDB at the Jubilee House, when they paid a courtesy call on him today 26 May 2022.
The select group of governors are in Ghana for the 57th Annual meetings of the AfDB which begun in Accra on the Monday 23 and is expected to end on Friday 27 May 2022.
“I think the ADB’s centrality in the future of the continent is not anything that requires argument. It is absolutely clear that the African Development Bank has an extremely important role, for me, a potentially decisive role in terms of being able to mobilize resources at the regional and continental level for our (Africa’s) development” President Akufo-Addo said.
“Ultimately, whatever we can do to strengthen the bank and find more money for the bank is what will abound to the benefit of all of us on the continent”.
“All things being equal, African Development Bank should be the first institution for multi-lateral financing in Africa. We have no problem with the World Bank or the IMF, but all things being equal, that should be the emphasizes and that is what is underlying our agitation, advocacy, however you want to describe it, for the bank to have access to the private capital markets” Akufo-Addo added.
Capital market borrowing
Ms Alexia Latortue, Assistant Secretary, International Trade and Development at the US Department of Treasury, speaking on behalf of the United States of America and the select group of governors, noted that the governors who were present, are excited about the prospects of the AfDB and her capacity to spearhead the development of the African continent.
She however noted that the United States’ position on AfDB going to the markets is that, it has to be a decision that must be taken out of the abundance of great caution.
“In terms of market borrowing and African Development Fund (ADF) going to the capital markets, I like to say that ADF has a very precious source of financing which is grants and highly concessional lending” Ms Alexia Latortue said.
“Our first priority is to make sure that any potential market borrowing does not reduce the level of grants and concessional financing available to countries, particularly because 18 of the 37 ADF countries are in high risk of debt distress and we cannot perpetuate a debt challenge, I think, for these countries” she added.
AfDB 2022 meetings
This year’s Annual AfDB meetings, mark a return to in-person meetings following virtual gatherings over the last two years.
The theme of the African Development Bank Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings is “Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa.”
The meetings are the Bank Group’s most important event of the year. They attract some 3,000 delegates.
They bring together the Bank’s leadership and shareholders to take stock of the institution’s progress. They also provide a unique forum for representatives of governments, businesses, civil society, think tanks, academia, and the media, to discuss critical issues concerning Africa’s development.
African leaders will discuss the nature of the support they need from global development partners, as well as the estimated cost of building resilience and a just energy transition for their economies.