Dr Akinwumi Akin Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, says the Bank is poised to take millions of Africans out of poverty through its African Development Fund (ADF).
The Fund was created by the Bank Group to provide concessional loans and grants to Regional Member Countries for studies and capacity building in support of projects and programmes to spur poverty reduction and economic development.
Dr Adesina said the Fund would leverage on its US$25 billion equity Fund to generate more funds with its partners to support projects and programmes in agriculture mechanisation, road infrastructure, health, and renewable energy.
Other areas that the Fund would support include water supply and sanitation, climate change adaptation, human capital development, gender, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
This is to ensure that millions of Africa’s population are moved out of poverty, while supporting sustainable growth on the continent, which is the world’s second-largest and second-most populous in the world.
He said: “The Fund has US$25 billion in equity. We’ve been talking to our partners for us to invest even more and to use that US$25 billion to leverage about US$30 billion, and therefore, to give more hope all across Africa.”
“As we celebrate ADF at 50, there’s still much more hope for us; there’s still much to do, as there are many out there who are hoping that somehow, their lives will be moved from the pots of poverty,” he added.
He said this at an event to mark the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Fund on the sidelines of the 2022 AfDB annual meetings in Accra, Ghana.
Dr Adesina recounted the progress of ADF since establishment 50 years ago, nothing that it has expanded the economic opportunities for millions of people, reduced inequalities, fragility and supported access to water for many Africans.
Among the successes the Fund has chalked has recounted by Dr Adesina include the connection of 15.5 million people to electricity, provision of water and sanitation facilities to 42 million.
It has also supported 74 million people with improved access to agriculture, and provided 50 million people with access to transport.
Jessica Isaacs, a Senior Advisor at AfDB, said: “The ADF has produced tremendous results over the past 50 years, and it’s a critical partner for donors who want to be partners on an Africa-led vision for stable, sustainable growth.”
“One of the things I really like about this event was that we got to meet Selina and learn about the women’s association. That’s really bringing it home about who this is for,” Cheryl Urban, Director General, Economic Development, Global Affairs Canada, added.
The African Development Fund was established in 1972 to promote economic and social development in the lives of people in low-income and fragile African countries.
It has since its establishment, invested more than $45 billion in over 2,750 projects across 40 countries to help transform the lives of people in low-income and fragile economies on the continent.