With New Capital Base of $208bn, AfDB Targets Fresh Ambitious Plans to Support Hundreds of Millions of People in Africa

Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Thursday approved a capital increase of $115 billion, moving the bank’s capital from $93 billion to $208 billion.

This is the highest height ever attained by the bank in the history since 1964.

With this new general capital increase, the African Development Bank said it planned to do more for the continent through its various ambitious projects.

Some of the bank’s ambitious pprogrammes include: Desert to Power project with the aim of provide 250 million people with access to electricity in the Sahel region; giving opportunity to 244 million people to benefit from improvements in agriculture; providing opportunity for 15 million people to benefit from investee projects; creating opportunity for 252 million people to benefit from improved access to transport; mobilising $3 billion in new financing for Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA); providing 128 million people to benefit from improved access to water and sanitation; doubling climate funding in the continent; and making the African continental free trade area a reality; among others.

At the opening of the 5th AfDB Extraordinary Meeting of Governors, President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire tasked the bank’s leadership to “make the right decision” to enable the continent to achieve its development goals.

According to him, “Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 requires substantial financial resources. Africa cannot achieve these goals without the financial support and technical assistance of partners, including the African Development Bank.

“We are convinced that the Governors will make the right decision, to agree on a general capital increase.”

The Ivorian President expressed his confidence that “the AfDB Board of Governors, President Akinwumi Adesina and his team will take all appropriate steps for prompt, full implementation of commitments made for reforms to optimise operational headroom resulting from the additional capital.”

The message was well received by the AfDB President, who warmly welcomed Ouattara, members of his government, and shareholders.

“Looking around me, I am delighted to see you, our shareholders, among us. Your presence inspires us. Your support strengthens us. Your advice lights our pathway towards the mission you have entrusted to us,” Adesina said.

Adesina then addressed the Governors: “Your decision on the capital increase will fully replenish us. This is a historic moment for a historic decision! We have climbed the steep slope of the mountain that is development in Africa, but we still have a long path to travel. Your support will fill our lungs with oxygen to keep us climbing upwards until we reach the top.”

With the general capital increase, the bank has been well positioned to develop a range of ambitious initiatives on the continent.

Minister of Planning and Development of Côte d’Ivoire and President of the Board of Governors, Nialé Kaba, recalled the path travelled over the past two years since the bank first expressed a wish for this capital increase.

“The goal is to provide the means to address challenges. Africa looks to us, not with apprehension but with hope. I am convinced that we will succeed in joining our efforts to achieve the expected objective,” Kaba said.

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