Ben Eguzozie, with wire copy
- Says projects increased 400% in 5 years
- AIF attracts $78.8bn investment into Africa
- Bank’s general capital also increased to $208bn from $93bn
Akinwunmi Adesina, who was sworn-in as president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a second term of five years, said going forward the pan-African multilateral financial institution would take its climate finance to reach $25 billion by 2021.
Adesina in a moving acceptance speech after his swearing-in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, at the headquarters of the AfDB Group, said the bank has been accountable for the climate since COP 21 in Paris; adding that its climate financing expanded from 9 per cent in 2015 to 36 per cent by 2019 – showing an increase of 400 per cent. “We’ve now targeted to reach $25 billion in climate finance by 2021,” he said.
He also announced that the bank’s innovative and ground-breaking Africa Investment Forum in 2018 and 2019 were able to attract a combined $78.8 billion worth of investment interests into Africa.
A number of Nigerian states picked up funding agreement for a plethora of projects they target to develop in the country. Some of them include Abia State’s Enyimba City, which development is estimated to cost $500 million.
While announcing phenomenal record achievements by the AfDB Group during the last five years (2015-2020), recording an increase of $115 billion to $208 billion during the period, Adesina said: “In every country, the bank’s impacts are felt. We expanded our presence to 44 countries, including across fragile states. The bank has the lowest cost among all multilateral development banks, and has also been rated as the 2nd best managed concessional financing institution globally. Our staff risk their lives to deliver.”
He said the AfDB was delivering more for women with the implementation of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women (AFAWA), to leverage $3 billion for women and women businesses. “We have launched a Gender Equality Trust Fund, the first ever in the Bank, and are advancing on gender markers for all projects of the Bank. We must continue to strongly support women. When women win, Africa wins,” he said.
The AfDB president informed the shareholders which comprise 54 African nations and 27 non-African members that the bank’s High5s initiative which are: Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life of the people of Africa which were developed to accelerate the delivery of the 10-year strategy, have been “implemented with deliberateness, speed and rigour.”
“The High5s have taken hold on the continent and become the keys for accelerating Africa’s development. The UNDP has shown that achieving the High5s would lead to achievement of 90% of the SDGs and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union,” Adesina said.
He informed that over the past five years, the Bank has delivered impressive results on the High5s with: 18 million people with access to electricity; 141 million people had access to improved agricultural technologies for food security; 15 million people with access to finance from private investments; 101 million people with access to improved transport from infrastructure; 60 million people with access to water and sanitation.
“The Bank’s High5 programmes have impacted 335 million people. That’s what the African Development Bank – your Bank – is all about … ‘people impact,’” he said. The initiative would be the plank of the Bank’s next five-year programme under Adesina.