Addis Ababa November 3/2019 Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved record capital increase of 125 percent last Thursday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The 115 billion USD capital increase, the largest in the history of the AfDB ever since its establishment in 1964, is a remarkable show of confidence by shareholders.
On the 5th extraordinary shareholders’ meeting held in Abidjan, Governors of the AfDB, representing shareholders from 80 member countries, has approved a milestone capital increase, which boosts the Bank’s capital base from 93 billion USD to stand at 208 billion USD.
The Bank launched discussions on the request for a general capital increase two years ago, to help fast track the delivery of its High-5 development strategies, the sustainable development goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
On his opening remarks, President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara said “the integration of the continent’s priorities into the High 5s indicates that the African Development Bank group is a strategic partner for African governments.”
“Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 requires substantial financial resources. Africa cannot achieve these goals without the financial support and technical assistance of partners, including the African Development Bank,” the president stated.
African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, said on his part that the capital increase showed the shareholders have “tremendous faith” in Africa and the Bank.
He said “Your decision on the capital increase will fully replenish us. This is a historic moment for a historic decision! We have climbed the steep slope of the mountain that is development in Africa, but we still have a long path to travel. Your support will fill our lungs with oxygen to keep us climbing upwards until we reach the top.”
In the past four years, the Bank’s High 5 priorities have delivered impressive results on the ground in funding and facilitating several infrastructures development across Africa.
This includes helping to connect 16 million people to electricity, 70 million people provided with agricultural technologies to boost food security, 9 million people given access to finance through private sector investee companies, 55 million people provided improved access to transport services, and 31 million people with access to water and sanitation, he said.
Adesina noted that “This general capital increase represents a very strong commitment of all our shareholders to see better quality projects that will significantly have an impact on the lives of the people in Africa- in cities, in rural communities, and for millions of youth and women.”
With the new general capital increase, AfDB set to do more with the expected results of 105 million people to have access to new or improved electricity.
Moreover, 244 million people to benefit from improvements in agriculture, 15 million people to benefit from investee projects, 252 million people to benefit from improved access to transport, and 128 million people to benefit from improved access to water and sanitation.
Bank president stated that “the Bank will continue its leadership role on infrastructure development, strengthening regional integration, helping to realize the ambitions of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), supporting fragile states to build resilience, ensuring sustainable debt management, addressing climate change and boosting private sector investments.”
The African Development Bank’s shareholders include 54 African countries and 26 non-African donor countries.