The African Development Bank AfDB, on Thursday, in Johannesburg, South Africa, said donors have agreed $7.6bn to its African Development Fund (ADF), representing a 32% boost from last replenishment, in support of Africa’s low-income, fragile, countries.
The fund is to tackle the root causes of fragility, strengthening resilience, and mainstreaming cross-cutting issues, and in the process, help lift millions out of poverty.
The replenishment, the 15th so far of the ADF (ADF-15), represented a 32% rise from the previous cycle, sends a strong signal of trust in the Fund, which is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group.
The Fund comprises 32 contributing states and benefits 37 countries, including those experiencing higher growth rates, headed towards new emerging markets, and fragile states needing special support for basic service delivery. The Fund’s resources are replenished every three years.
ADF-15, the AfDB said in a statement, will support Africa’s most vulnerable countries by tackling the root causes of fragility, strengthening resilience, and mainstreaming cross-cutting issues. These include gender, climate change, governance, private sector development, and decent job creation.
According to Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, “What a great pledge we’ve achieved with your support… Together we’ve exceeded the target set for this replenishment. What a great and successful replenishment story that is.“
Over the past 45 years, the ADF has played an important role in the development journey of African low-income countries.
In just nine years, the ADF has made a difference and positively impacted the lives of millions by Improving access to electricity for 10.9m people; providing agriculture infrastructure and inputs for 90 million people—including 43 million women; and improving access to markets and connections between countries to 66.6 million people. It has also contributed to the continent’s regional integration agenda by rehabilitating more than 2,300km of cross-border roads; improving access to water and sanitation for 35.8m people.
ADF-15 covers the period 2020-2022 and will build on successes of the 14th replenishment by being more selective and focused, the statement added.
ADF-15 will focus on two Strategic Pillars: quality and sustainable infrastructure aimed at strengthening regional integration; and human governance and institutional capacity development for increased decent job creation and inclusive growth.
In pursuing these strategic priorities, ADF-15 will pay special attention to gender equality, climate change, private sector, and good governance promotion.
In his closing remarks, Patrick Dlamini CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, who spoke on behalf of South Africa’s Finance minister Tito Mboweni, said the deliberations and outcome demonstrated the confidence member countries place in the African Development Bank Group as “the cornerstone institution underpinning African development.”
“There is no better vehicle than the ADF,” he said. “Going forward, an ambitious programme of development lies ahead.”
ADF-15 will address root causes of vulnerability by systematically applying a fragility lens in all its operations. This will be specifically targeted at regions such as the Sahel, which will see a 65% increase in resources from the ADF over the next three-year period.
ADF-15 comes at a time of tremendous opportunities and challenges for ADF countries and the world.
During the next three years, the Fund will scale up its interventions with bold and profoundly transformative projects such as Desert to Power stretching across the Sahel region. This flagship programme, aims at transforming the Sahel into the world’s largest solar production zone with up to 10,000 MW of solar generation capacity and 250m people connected to electricity.
As part of the initiative, the Yeleen Rural Electrification Project in Burkina Faso is set to provide access to electricity to 150,000 households, while the Djermaya Project in Chad will generate 10% of Chad’s power capacity.
“You will see a new spring in our step…we will be bold and decisive. We will stretch ourselves, and we will do more with your support,” Adesina said.