General capital increase, best way to grow African economies – AfDB

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina.

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has reiterated the need for a general capital increase to fast-track Africa’s development.

Dr Adesina who said this at the 5th Extraordinary meeting of the Board of Governors held in Abidjan said strong support from the governors and the bank’s shareholders inspired AfDB to make appreciable progress on its mandate.

He said that strong support from the governors and the bank’s shareholders inspired AfDB to make appreciable progress on its mandate.

“It is the strong waves of support from you our shareholders that have powered our hope, inspired our engagement and guided our ship to navigate to the shores of the African Development Bank Headquarters,” he explained.

Adesina, while highlighting the achievements of the bank from 2015 till date, said that final decision of the governors on “General Capital Increase’’ would assist in developing Africa.

“Your final decision on the General Capital Increase will reverberate around the world. It will help us take a giant leap forward for Africa,’’ he said.

According to Adesina, with your support over the past four years, the AfDB has delivered impactful results on the ground through our High 5s.

“We have helped to connect 16 million people to electricity, 70 million people with agricultural technologies for food security and nine million people with access to finance through private sector investee companies.

“Others are 55 million people with improved transport services and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation.

“We have maintained the AAA rating of the bank, even when times were tough. Canada came up with 1.1 billion dollars temporary callable capital.

“Sweden came up with 500 million dollars additional temporary callable capital. All shareholders rallied around the bank to ensure that discussions on the general capital increase progressed positively.

“Together, we have climbed the steep mountainside of Africa’s development, yet there is still some ways to go until we reach the mountaintop.

“Your support will give us oxygen in our lungs to keep on climbing, until we reach the summit where we can together see the Africa we want,’’ he added.

Adesina said that with the “General Capital Increase’’, AfDB would fully develop the `Desert to Power’ initiative to provide access to energy for 250 million people across the Sahel adding that AfDB would work in strategic partnerships, bilaterally and multilaterally to address debt sustainability through enhanced policy dialogue.

“We will ensure that the General Capital Increase lifts all boats: low-income and middle-income countries,’’ he said.

Peace PIAK