The governors of the African Development Bank for East Africa welcomed on Wednesday in Abidjan, the “highly transformative” projects financed since 2010, by the institution, for a total amount of 13.8 billion dollars .
Governors and representatives of Burundi, Djibouti, Rwanda, Comoros, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda spoke in the annual consultations with the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and its leaders. These consultations allowed the governors to present their development needs as well as the opportunities in their respective countries.
For governors, the Bank is a “trusted partner for the provision of innovative solutions”, in reference to the projects it finances in ICT, education, public finance management, energy, transport water and sanitation.
According to the temporary governor for Sudan, Makki Mohamed Abdelrahim Alian, “Sudan needs the High 5 of the Bank because they correspond to its own needs”. Through the institution’s “Feed Africa” program, the continent “will be able to feed itself and feed the world, and will be a pioneer in the production of healthy foods, which are the focus of ‘a significant global demand,’ he added.
For Ethiopia’s Finance Minister Ahmed Shide, “Ethiopia is keen to make progress towards regional integration and to consolidate the peace agreement it has signed with Eritrea in order to benefit from the support of the Bank for regional infrastructure projects. Opportunities for collaboration with the Bank are not lacking in our ambitious infrastructure projects. ” To which President Adesina responded: “There is no doubt that the historic signing of the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea has increased the Bank’s investment prospects in the Horn of Africa”.
The President of the Bank has recognized the major role of the 13 East African states, members of the African Development Bank Board, in the process of economic transformation of the continent. With a population of 340 million, the region is the fastest growing economic zone in Africa (well above the average of 4% recorded on the continent), with regional GDP up 5.7% in 2018. East Africa is projected to grow by 5.9 percent this year and by 6.1 percent in 2020.
“Despite this progress, there are still major challenges that hinder efforts to eradicate poverty and boost economic growth and development in the region,” said Chief Economist Celestin Monga. , the region remains exposed to threats to peace and security as well as the effects of climate change, growing public debt and inequities in infrastructure development.
The Bank’s Director General for East Africa, Gabriel Negatu, presented several projects funded by the institution. Its current portfolio is estimated at $ 11.6 billion. Last year, the amount of sovereign and non-sovereign approvals reached $ 2.18 billion.
Major transformative projects include the largest wind farm in Africa, on the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and the electricity interconnection facilities between Ethiopia and Kenya. Also in Kenya, the “last mile connectivity” project, launched by the Bank, has connected more than three million people. In Uganda, the Bugagali hydropower project doubled the country’s power supply, reduced wholesale tariffs by 66% and reduced the cost of electricity for the population. Gabriel Negatu also said that the construction of the road between Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Mombasa had helped to increase the volume of trade between Kenya and Ethiopia.
In the area of technology, the Bank has financed a 1,900 km submarine cable project between Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Seychelles, significantly speeding up the flow of the Internet. In Rwanda, the Innovation Fund has helped to position the country as a regional hub for ICT services.
The Bank confirmed to Governors that the second edition of the Africa Investment Forum will take place next November in Johannesburg. As Stella Kilonzo, Senior Director of the Forum pointed out, “building a strong pipeline of bankable projects well in advance of the next Forum is a priority”.
For his part, responsible for the management of risk within the Group, Timothy Turner, introduced new financial products to optimize the balance sheet of the Bank, including the “Room2Run”, an innovative portfolio of synthetic securitization worth one billion dollars.
Governors supported the project of a general capital increase for the Bank, building on the impact of transformative projects and Bank investments in their respective countries.
According to Vice President of Finance, Swazi Tshabalala, “a general capital increase will strengthen the Bank’s comparative advantage in governance, resource mobilization, regional integration, infrastructure and development of the Bank. private sector “.
President Adesina thanked the governors for their unwavering confidence in the Bank. “Your presence here counts a lot. Your contributions are essential. Your support is also crucial. I have no doubt that you will continue to speak in favor of Africa. “
Source: African Development Bank