The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has revealed the bank’s commitment to mobilising $25 billion in funding to help African countries adapt to climate change. He disclosed this ahead of the AfDB 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) starting at the Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana, today.
The week-long AGM will feature knowledge events where political leaders, financial experts, environmentalists and allied professionals would join the AfDB team to deliberate on climate change, impacts on Africa and possible solutions with a particular focus on funding and adaptation mechanisms.
The board will also receive reports of last year’s performance for adoption while reviewing the bank’s short- to medium-term programmes. Governments would also have the opportunity to interact with the AfDB on their routes to energy transition and the bankability of their initiatives.
The bank, at the unveiling of programmes of the AGM, which focus on ‘Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa’, described climate change as a make-or-mar moment for the continent, saying adaptation is the operating word.
The President, tweeting on its scorecard yesterday, said that the regional bank was negotiating global partnerships to help African countries adapt to the vagaries of climate change.
“To help Africa adapt to climate change, the bank is partnering globally. Together with the Global Centre on Adaptation, with former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, we are mobilising $25 billion in support of Africa,” he tweeted.
Dr. Adesina also said the bank “is raising $5 billion for women businesses” with the support of President Emmanuel Macron and G-7, through AfDB’s Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA).
In 2021, the bank paid out $483 million to financial institutions to lend to women businesses while it hopes to raise the financing threshold for women entrepreneurs to $500 million this year.
“When COVID-19 struck, our Board, based on rigorous risk assessments, approved a crisis response facility of up to $10 billion. We launched a $3 billion COVID-19 social bond on the global capital markets, the highest ever US dollar-denominated social bond in world history. Our rapid COVID-19 response facility helped towards stabilising African economies. It trained 130,000 health workers. It provided social protection for about 30 million vulnerable households. It provided advisory support for 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses.”
“To tackle the food crisis from the Russian-Ukraine crisis, our Board of Directors approved, last week, a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to support 20 million farmers to produce 38 million metric tons of food,” the former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture blogged.
Dr. Adesina, who will be rendering account of stewardship to the 81-country shareholders in the coming days, attributed the success story of AfDB to “an excellent and robust management and governance system”, saying the team delivers great value to Africa through a five-pronged programme doggedly pursued and implemented in the past six years. The programmes are said to have impacted 335 million people.
AfDB, the only AAA-rated financial institution in Africa, has “consistently maintained our stellar AAA credit ratings by all major global credit rating agencies” owing to its excellent risk management, Adesina pointed out.
Last year, Global Finance ranked the bank as the best multilateral financial institution in the world. It was also rated by Centre for Global Development (CGD) as the second-best in the world.