Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has appealed to a select group of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), to do everything possible to support efforts aimed at transforming the Bank into the preferred multilateral financing institution for Africa’s development.

This suggestion was made by the President when he engaged a select group of the Governors and Executive Directors of the AfDB at the Jubilee House, when they paid a courtesy call on him today 26TH May 2022.

The select group of Governors IS in Ghana for the 57th Annual General Meetings of the AfDB which begun in Accra on the Monday 23 and is expected to end on Friday 27 May 2022.

“I think the ADB’s centrality in the future of the continent is not anything that requires argument. It is absolutely clear that the African Development Bank has an extremely important role, for me, a potentially decisive role in terms of being able to mobilise resources at the regional and continental level for our (Africa’s) development” President Akufo-Addo said.

“Ultimately, whatever we can do to strengthen the Bank and find more financial resources for the Bank is what will inure to the benefit of all of us on the continent”, he explained.

“All things being equal, the African Development Bank should be the first institution for multilateral financing in Africa, and that should be emphasised. That and the need for increase financial firepower to finance Africa’s development underpins the advocacy for the Bank to have access to the capital markets”, President Akufo-Addo added. 

Capital market borrowing

Alexia Latortue, Assistant Secretary, International Trade and Development at the US Department of Treasury, speaking on behalf of the United States of America noted that the Governors who were present, are excited about the prospects of the AfDB and her capacity to spearhead the development of the African continent.

She however noted that the United States’ position on AfDB going to the markets is that, it has to be a decision that must be taken out of the abundance of great caution. 

“In terms of market borrowing and the African Development Fund (ADF) going to the capital markets, I like to say that ADF has a very precious source of financing which is grants and highly concessional lending” Ms Latortue said.

“Our first priority is to make sure that any potential market borrowing does not reduce the level of grants and concessional financing available to countries, particularly because 18 out of the 37 ADF countries are at high risk of debt distress. And we cannot perpetuate a debt challenge, I think, for these countries” she added.

AfDB 2022 meetings

This year’s Annual General Meetings of the AfDB, mark a return to in-person meetings following virtual gatherings over the last two years.

The theme of the African Development Bank Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings is “Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa.”

The meetings are the Bank Group’s most important event of the year. They attract some 3,000 delegates.

They bring together the Bank’s leadership and shareholders to take stock of the institution’s progress. They also provide a unique forum for representatives of governments, businesses, civil society, think tanks, academia, and the media, to discuss critical issues concerning Africa’s development.

African leaders will discuss the nature of the support they need from global development partners, as well as the estimated cost of building resilience and a just energy transition for their economies.