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Take control of financing in Africa – Ofori-Atta to AfDB

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Ken Ofori-Atta Finance Minister

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has urged the African Development Bank to strengthen itself to take control of financing more projects on the continent.

According to him, the bank must put in place measures to ensure that no financial institution, including the Bretton Woods, has a deeper foothold on the continent than the African Development Bank.

He also urged the Bank to be innovative in its operations to mobilize resources and leverage the African Development Fund’s balance sheet to raise additional capital for Africa’s development.

Speaking at the ongoing opening ceremony of the 2022 Annual Meetings of the AfDB, Mr. Ofori-Atta also noted that as the ADF celebrates its 50th anniversary, its aim must be to raise a further $50 billion within the next 5 years in the capital markets.

“In designing our continent’s response strategy, we must build from our innate resilience and strengthen partnerships. AfDBs focus here must therefore be guided by advancing progress by digitalizing our society, realising the potential of raising innovative climate finance, making progress on SDR rechannelling and using the AfDB as a conduit for deploying SDRs on the continent; and leveraging the ADFs balance sheet to raise additional capital for the continent.”

“We must remedy a situation where any financial institution, including the Bretton Woods, has a deeper foothold on our Continent than our own African Development Bank. Given the current local and global dynamics, it has become imperative that we vigorously mobilise resources through innovative means, including from the digital space. We must simply ‘uncover’ this potential to recover and build forward better,” he said.

He further noted that, “the bank must be unshackled to provide competitive financing for its members. We must lend support to the proposed reforms in respect of the regulations around ADF Funds to enable the bank to leverage these funds to raise more funds and on-lend at lower coupon rates.”

The 57th African Development Bank Annual General Meetings which began at the Accra International Conference Centre will set the agenda for Africa’s transformation and recovery from the current economic challenges facing the continent amid the ongoing pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Annual Meetings are the most important events on the governance calendar of the bank group, attracting around 3,000 delegates and attendees annually.

This year’s meetings mark a return to in-person sessions following virtual meetings over the last two years. The meetings will be held in a hybrid format, with participants present in Accra and online.

Representatives of governments, businesses, civil society, think tanks, academia, and the media, will convene to discuss key issues concerning Africa’s ongoing development.

With a focus on climate change, the bank will also review its operation during the preceding year and take stock of progress with its shareholders.

Under the theme of Achieving Climate Resilience, and a Just Energy Transition for Africa, the Annual Meetings will act as a forerunner to the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP-27 taking place in Egypt in November.

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