By Babajide Komolafe
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and finance ministers from West and Central African countries have called for additional capital injection into African Development Bank (AfDB) to enable it meets its mandate for Africa.
This was one of the highlights of the Regional Consultative Meeting between the AfDB President, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina and the bank’s Governors and Ministers of Finance from West Africa and Central Africa held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The meeting was the first consultations of its kind since the creation of the Bank in 1963.
Making the case for a general capital increase for the AfDB, the Governors recalled that the sixth capital increase, ratified in 2010, made it possible for the bank to take the volume of loans to unprecedented levels, noting that aid to countries receiving African Development Fund financing has increased seventeen-fold.
According to Adeosun there is need for a strong and well capitalized AfDB that is capable of fulfilling its commitments to member-countries.
She stated, “At the height of the crisis that shook our economy due to the fall in oil prices, the AfDB provided us with substantial budget support, while other partners were very reluctant.”
“At the height of the crisis that shook our economy due to the fall in oil prices, the African Development Bank provided us with substantial budget support, while other partners were very reluctant.
“We need a strong bank capable of fulfilling its commitments to assist us in mobilizing our internal resources”, Adeosun said.
Also speaking, Régis Immongault, the Minister of Economy and Finance and African Development Bank Governor for Gabon, said: “We are fully behind the bank’s general capital increase”.
“We are convinced that this will provide the bank with the resources it needs to support us even more in our development efforts than it has up to now. We are faced with the new challenges of population growth, climate change and security threats.”
Emphasized the urgency of providing the bank with sufficient resources to continuing providing development leadership in Africa, Guinean Minister of Development, Mama Kanny Diallo said: “The AfDB is the premier bank on the ground. It has helped a country like mine engage in policies to improve governance and mobilize internal resources. It has also helped us renegotiate mining contracts that are in our best interests and to explore innovative solutions”. .
Kanny Diallo went on to say, “Looking beyond the case of Guinea alone, a general capital increase is about giving the bank the means to keep the young people of the continent here. The destiny of our young people is not to go and die at sea or crossing the desert.”