By our Reporter
Authoritative reports have it that Niger, Liberia, Somalia, Sierra Leone, and a host of other poor African countries are expected to benefit from the African Development Fund’s (ADF) latest round of support grants and soft loans valued at $8.9 billion.
It was confirmed that this funding from the agency is the largest in its 50-year history and it is expected to accelerate the completion of the African Development Bank (AfDB) projects and also help their governments speed up the completion of other major infrastructural projects in these countries.
Significantly, in a statement made available on its website on Tuesday, the bank said that “the African Development Fund (ADF) has agreed to commit a total package of $8.9 billion to its 2023–2025 financing cycle.”
Accordingly, a breakdown of the amount revealed that $8.5 billion is in core ADF funding, while $429 million is expected to help the newly created Climate Action Window achieve its objectives.
The reports said that the funding, which is also referred to as ADF-16 core funding, represents a 14.24 percent increase over ADF-15 of $7.4 billion, the AfDB statement read.
And this replenishment comes as the ADF celebrates its 50th anniversary since its establishment in 1972.
The fund is expected to help the bank tackle major developmental challenges on the continent, including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change, fragility, debt, and economic vulnerabilities.
It is noteworthy that Algeria and Morocco contributed to the fund for the first time. They join Angola, Egypt, and South Africa on the list of contributing African countries. The Kingdom of Morocco hosted the fourth and final meetings of the new replenishment (ADF 16).
And the Fund has helped connect 15.5 million people to electricity, given 74 million people access to improved agriculture, and given 42 million people access to water and sanitation. In addition, 50 million people have gained access to improved transportation. The fund’s resources are also helping to build and rehab 8,700 kilometres of roads.
Thus, the fund is expected to assist in connecting 20 million people to electricity, 24 million people to agricultural improvements, 32 million people to access water and sanitation, and 15 million people to improved transportation.
An elated President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, said. ,“I am impressed by the huge commitment and efforts of the ADF donor countries in stepping up support for Africa’s low-income countries.”
He indicated that this is, “Especially at this time of great economic, climate, and fiscal challenges, this is the power of global partnerships and effective multilateralism in support of Africa.”
Again, Adesina, said, “These are impressive development impacts. These expected impacts of the ADF will advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. They will allow the African Development Fund to build on its reputation as being ranked the second-best concessional financing institution in the world. We will deliver more, better, efficiently, and in partnerships with bilateral and multilateral partners. We will foster a climate-smart, resilient, inclusive, and integrated Africa.”
In his words, “African low-income countries are the most vulnerable and least prepared to tackle climate change,” he added. “The Climate Action Window and the commitment to provide 40 percent of the core financing of the ADF 16 replenishment towards climate finance will help to build climate resilience in Africa.”