1 July 2013 – African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr. Donald Kaberuka arrived in Tanzania during the final weekend of June 2013 for the visit by US President Barack Obama, which will partly focus on an initiative to foster economic growth and development in Africa through increased access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power on the continent.
The initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership involving the United States, the AfDB and six African countries. It will increase available electricity access, raise cross-border energy trade and promote efficient management of energy resources. The July 1-2 Tanzania visit is the last stop on Obama’s three-nation Africa tour.
The AfDB has committed more than US$1.63 billion in energy infrastructure funding to the six countries involved in the initiative over the past five years, including US$1.4 billion under the African Development Fund (ADF) − its concessionary lending window to low income countries. The US is a significant contributor to the ADF, which is going through its 13th replenishment.
The AfDB is at the forefront of a campaign by African governments and institutions to grow the continent’s economies through the scaling of infrastructure. Kaberuka sees growth anchored in better governance and fair and transparent taxation of Africa’s natural resources, as well as public-private sector partnerships (PPPs). “This continent pays dearly for deficiencies in infrastructure, including in the energy sector. Drawing now on resources from the public and the private sector, at home and abroad, it can derive immense dividends,” Kaberuka said ahead of the Obama visit.
“In May 2013, the AfDB unveiled plans for the new Africa50Fund, a big and bold solution designed to help fill the funding gaps in Africa’s transport, power, water and communications systems. The bank is committed to partnering regional members to ensure they stay a path of sustained growth.”