HomeRegional NewsAfricaUK reaffirms commitment to Africa’s economic transformation

UK reaffirms commitment to Africa’s economic transformation

The United Kingdom is the top donor to the African Development Fund (ADF), the Bank’s concessional lending arm for its next three-year cycle, ADF-15 (2020 – 2022), a position it has held for the last three replenishments.

In a statement, the Bank said that the ADF-15 will focus its operations around investing in quality and sustainable infrastructure aimed at strengthening regional integration and human, governance and institutional capacity development for increased decent job creation and inclusive growth. The next cycle will prioritise bold and transformative projects with the view to achieving ambitious development results. ADF-15 will address the root causes of vulnerability by systematically applying a fragility lens in all its operations.

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The UK is a long-standing strategic partner of the African Development Bank Group and its contribution to both the replenishment of the Fund and the capital increase of the Bank sends a strong signal of mutual trust.

This growing partnership between the Bank and the UK was consolidated by the Bank’s participation in the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London earlier this month, at which a new infrastructure financing partnership was announced between the Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID).

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Already, the UK’s contribution to several Bank’s projects has impacted the lives of millions in Africa’s poorest nations.

For example, the UK has been a strong supporter of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a multi-donor facility also funded by the governments of Denmark, the U.S., Italy, Norway and Spain. The fund supports the sustainable energy agenda in Africa through grants and concessional investment to facilitate the preparation of green baseload, green mini-grid and energy efficiency projects; equity investments to bridge the financing gap for small- and medium-scale renewable energy generation projects; and support to the public sector to improve the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy.

As the world faces global climate emergency, the Bank is looking to redouble its efforts to promote renewable energy across the continent and expects this transition will be a high priority during COP 26, which will be held in Glasgow in November -hosted with Italy.

Last August, the UK pledged £30 million for women’s economic empowerment through the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative. AFAWA is a pan-African initiative, led by the Bank, that aims to close the gender credit gap for women in Africa.

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“Without any doubt, DFID and the UK government’s investment in the African Development Bank pays off and delivers huge impacts in Africa,” Bank president Akinwumi Adesina said.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.