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Development bank reflects on new perspective

Reflecting on progress to date and examining Africa’s development perspectives, was tabled by the President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, while addressing the bank’s representatives.

The diplomats met in Ivory Coast earlier this week, where Adesina shared perspectives on the performance of African economies, updated attendees on the institution’s activities and highlighted emerging economic issues for the Bank and the continent.

“The African Development Bank, your Bank, is reforming, innovating, leading and delivering more for Africa than ever before.

“With the strong support for a general capital increase by our board of directors, governors of the bank, and you, the ambassadors representing our shareholder countries, Africa will indeed experience a much brighter and impactful future,” he said.

Adesina highlighted Africa’s performance noting that the continent remains resilient to global economic headwinds and climate shocks as related by the Bank’s 2018 Africa Economic Outlook published in January.

According to him average GDP growth was 3.6% in 2017, up from 2.2% in 2016, adding that 18 African countries grew above 5% in 2017, and 37 others above 3%.

Average GDP growth is projected to accelerate to 4.1% in 2018 and 2019.

Highlights on development bank milestones

In 2017, the Bank achieved impressive development impacts. Its “Light up and power Africa” High 5 reached 4.4 million people with access to electricity.

The President also shared important landmarks on the Bank’s ongoing reforms and achievements over the past two years:

  • The Bank achieved its highest annual disbursement ever in its history at $7.67 billion while maintaining its Triple “A” rating by the major global rating agencies.
  • It invested $1.39 billion in 31 operations in the energy sector in 23 countries representing a 30% increase over 2017.
  • The institution launched its largest bond transaction, with a $2.5 billion 3-year global benchmark, followed by its largest ever 5-year global benchmark for $2 billion; and continues to grow its income, reversing a two-year declining trend.
  • In 2016, its net operating income rose to $556.6 million, shot up to $855 million in 2017, and increased by almost 54% over 2016, and 73% increase over 2015.

Currently, the Bank is spearheading the development of the Desert-to-Power initiative to harness electricity from the sun all across the Sahel (south of the Sahara Desert), designed to generate 10,000MW of power, connect 250 million people to electricity, including providing 75 million people with off-grid systems.


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Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.