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Africa: AfDB President rallies global support

president of the AfDB Group

Africa President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has won widespread support for a robust 16th replenishment of the African Development Fund, the bank’s concessionary lending arm that supports Africa’s low-income economies.

He stated that the replenishment operations would continue until October when partners are anticipated to make pledges.

According to a statement released by the bank’s headquarters, the AfDB President made the call last Saturday after wrapping off a three-day official visit to Washington, DC.

The tour featured multiple bilateral contacts with stakeholders on African development in addition to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings.

Dr. Adesina assured the shareholders that the African Development Fund’s support had a tremendous and far-reaching impact on Africa.

Dr. Adesina addressed the African Union’s Group of 15 Finance Ministers, outlining the continent’s pressing concerns and the measures being implemented to successfully address them.

Dr. Adesina’s priorities, according to the statement, include a strategy for large food production in the face of an impending global food crisis caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as the need for a more flexible and substantial replenishment of the African Development Fund.

Dr. Adesina emphasized the bank’s innovative technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a program that operates in more than 30 African countries and covers nine food commodities.

He said the bank will help African countries deal with the food crisis by creating an African Food Crisis Response and Emergency Facility, which would provide them with the funds they need to boost local food production and buy fertilizer.

A fertilizer crisis, resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine, might jeopardize more than $10 billion in food production, according to Dr. Adesina.

He said that a summit of major global development, finance, public, and private sector officials, convened by the World Bank, will take place in mid-May to address Africa’s fertilizer access.

The ministers then agreed to a unified communique on financing Africa’s economic resilience in tough times, according to the statement.

They demanded that the African Development Fund be substantially replenished and that the fund be allowed to use its stock to leverage more resources from foreign capital markets to address Africa’s rapidly rising demands.

“During bilateral meetings, Assistant Treasury Secretary Alexia Latortue of the United States said the African Development Fund was vital to Africa’s development.

“She told the bank’s president that the United States will continue to be a strong and proud sponsor of the fund, which has a strategic focus and achieves results.

She also praised Dr. Adesina’s leadership in developing the bank’s innovative African emergency food production plan to address the looming food catastrophe caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and she pledged the US Treasury Department’s strong support for the plan.”

Dana Banks, Special Assistant to US President Joseph Biden and Senior Director for Africa at the White House, greeted Dr. Adesina in the White House.

The meeting stressed the importance of limiting the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on African food security and applauded the African Development Bank’s leadership in developing an emergency food production plan for Africa.

According to the statement, Dr. Adesina received comparable strong support from other partners for the African Development Fund replenishment.