President Akufo-Addo expressed strong support for a significant replenishment of the African Development Fund, the concessional financing arm of the African Development Bank Group. He noted that the Fund’s work has become even more critical in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and, more recently, the war between Russia and Ukraine.
The Ghanaian president said: “We all need to focus on how we can best expand the capital base of the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund to give them greater prominence in terms of being able to raise money in the global bond market… This In this way, we can play the main role in financing our development.”
He praised Adesina for what he said was his dynamism as head of the African Development Bank and his advocacy on the world stage for Africa’s development.
Adesina will visit Ghana ahead of the African Development Bank Group Annual Meetings 2022 in Accra from May 23-27. Accompanying him to the Ghanaian capital on this preparatory mission are the Secretary General of the Bank Group, Vincent Nmehielle; Acting Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Kevin Urama; the Director General in the Office of the President Alex Mubiru; the executive director representing Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan, Kenyeh Barlay; and Eyerusalem Fasika, Bank Group Country Manager for Ghana.
The 2022 Annual Meetings also mark the 50th anniversary of the African Development Fund. Since its establishment, the Fund has invested more than $45 billion in low-income countries and fragile states.
According to Adesina, the African Development Bank would advocate a strong replenishment of the African Development Fund-16 during the Annual Meetings. She stressed the importance of allowing the Fund to use its capital to tap into the global capital market in order to leverage many more resources for low-income African countries.
Adesina said, “Mr. President, your personal defense of this, along with other heads of state and government, will be critical.”
The Bank Group’s active portfolio in Ghana consists of 18 operations for a total committed value of $751.5 million in various sectors. Transportation accounts for the lion’s share of 42%, while agriculture amounts to 23%.
One of the main projects financed by the Bank is the Pokuase four-level road link, which is part of the Accra Urban Transport Project, which consists of several components. Completed in July 2021, the exchange is the first of its kind in West Africa and the second largest in Africa. The local transportation union and commuters say that since its completion, the interchange has cut travel time from two hours to 30 minutes.
Selina Avevor, leader of the Kpobiman Women’s Association, which trains women in skills to make a living in catering, batik tie-dye and other handicrafts, said: “Thanks to the African Development Bank, the Ghanaian government has provided us with a 20 bed house. air-conditioned hostel to house students. They also provided us with a new 150-liter soap-making machine, flour-mixing machines with electric motors, and four rollers with electric motors. Also, they built a well and gave us a water storage tank and office furniture.”
Adesina commended the Ghanaian authorities for ensuring value for money in the execution of the project, in particular by using funds initially earmarked for a three-tier structure to build a four-tier facility. “Equally gratifying to me is the facility’s impact on people’s lives,” she said.
The African Development Bank President and his team also held talks with Ghana‘s Finance Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta, current Chairman of the Bank Group’s Board of Governors. The Bank delegation received full information on Ghana‘s preparation for the Annual Meetings. The delegation also visited the Accra International Conference Center, the main venue for the meetings.
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