Updated: February 26, 2021
True, $7.6 billion is not a lot of money for a continent of 1.2 billion people living in at least 54 countries. But to African Development Fund (ADF) donors who agreed to commit $7.6 billion, the funds could be used to speed up growth in Africa’s poorest nations and help lift millions out of poverty.
The Fund comprises 32 contributing states and benefits 37 countries. The Fund’s resources are replenished every three years.
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In a statement on Friday, African Development Bank said “This fifteenth replenishment of the ADF (ADF-15), up 32% from the previous cycle, sends a strong signal of trust in the Fund, which is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group”.
It said ADF-15 will support Africa’s most vulnerable countries by tackling the root causes of fragility, strengthening resilience, and mainstreaming cross-cutting issues.
These include gender, climate change, governance, private sector development, and decent job creation.
“What a great pledge we’ve achieved with your support… Together we’ve exceeded the target set for this replenishment. What a great and successful replenishment story that is,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.
The bank boasted about its achievements over the past 45 years, saying that the ADF has played an important role in the development journey of African low-income countries.
“In just nine years, the ADF has made a difference and positively impacted the lives of millions by:
“Improving access to electricity for 10.9 million people;
“Providing agriculture infrastructure and inputs for 90 million people—including 43 million women;
“Improving access to markets and connections between countries to 66.6 million people;
“Contributing to the continent’s regional integration agenda by rehabilitating more than 2,300 km of cross-border roads;
“Improving access to water and sanitation for 35.8 million people”.
It said ADF-15 covers the period 2020-2022 and will build on successes of the fourteenth replenishment by being more selective and focused.
“ADF-15 will focus on two Strategic Pillars: 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 bank said, adding that in pursuing these strategic priorities, ADF-15 will pay special attention to gender equality, climate change, private sector, and good governance promotion.
Patrick Dlamini CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, who spoke on behalf of South Africa’s Finance minister Tito Mboweni, said the deliberations and outcome demonstrated the confidence member countries place in the African Development Bank Group as “the cornerstone institution underpinning African development.”
“There is no better vehicle than the ADF,” he said. “Going forward, an ambitious programme of development lies ahead.”