African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has garnered broad strong support for a robust 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund, the bank group’s concessionary lending arm that supports Africa’s low-income economies.
He said the replenishment efforts would continue through October, when partners were expected to make their pledges.
A statement issued from the headquarters of the bank said the AfDB President made the call just when he concluded a three-day official visit to Washington DC last Saturday.
Alongside the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the visit included several bilateral engagements with stakeholders on African development.
Dr Adesina affirmed to the shareholders that the African Development Fund’s impact on Africa, through their support, was massive and far reaching.
Meeting with the African Union’s Group of 15 Finance Ministers, Dr Adesina outlined the continent’s immediate challenges and the solutions that were being applied to tackle them successfully.
The statement said top of Dr Adesina’s list was a plan for massive food production in the face of a looming global food crisis caused by the Russia war in Ukraine, and the need for a more flexible and substantial replenishment of the African Development Fund.
Dr Adesina highlighted the bank’s innovative technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a programme operating across nine food commodities in more than 30 African countries.
He said the bank would mitigate the effects of the food crisis through an African Food Crisis Response and Emergency Facility – a dedicated facility that would provide African countries with the resources needed to raise local food production and procure fertiliser.
According to Dr Adesina, a fertiliser crisis, born out of the Russian war in Ukraine, could put more than $10 billion of food production at risk.
He said a bank-initiated meeting of key global development, finance, public and private sector leaders was scheduled for mid-May to tackle access to fertilisers for Africa.
In the meeting, the statement said the ministers later agreed to a joint communique on financing Africa’s economic resilience in turbulent times.
They called for a substantial replenishment of the African Development Fund and for the fund to be allowed to use its equity to leverage more resources from international capital markets to meet the rapidly growing needs of countries in Africa.
Meeting in USA
“During bilateral meetings, United States Assistant Treasury Secretary, Alexia Latortue, said the African Development Fund was critical to Africa’s development landscape.
She assured the bank’s president that the US remains a strong and proud supporter of the fund, which has strategic focus and delivers impact.
She also applauded the leadership of Dr Adesina in developing the bank’s bold African emergency food production plan to avert the looming food crisis due to the Russian war in Ukraine and assured of the strong partnership of the US Treasury Department on the plan.”
Dr Adesina was received at the White House by Dana Banks, Special Assistant to US President, Joseph Biden, and Senior Director for Africa at the White House.
The meeting mentioned the need to mitigate the spill-over of the Russian war in Ukraine on food security in Africa and strongly welcomed the leadership of the African Development Bank on its emergency food production plan for Africa.
The statement said Dr Adesina received similar strong support for the African Development Fund replenishment from other partners.