…Re-emphasises commitment to renewable energy projects
As part of efforts to reposition and strengthen its operations and impact the lives of average Africans, the African Development Bank (AFDB), has established five regional integration and business delivery offices, under the bank’s new development agenda.
The Daily Times quotes Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AFDB President, as saying at the bank’s ongoing annual general meetings (AGM) that the overhaul became imperative following their renewed commitment to deliver within the time frame.
Although Adesina declined to disclose specific locations of the offices, he only said that new offices located in the West, East, Central, Northern and Southern regions of the continent would be headed by director-generals.
The director-generals charged with the responsibility of spearheading the new bank’s economic agenda would be supported by full compliments of senior and skillful staff, he said.
The new business and development operational model, projected to strengthen relationships with member countries, especially the fragile states, also focuses on assisting regional blocks in fast tracking aged long proposed African integration.
“The landmark institutional reforms will make us more efficient, effective and faster in delivering greater development impact across Africa.
“Some said we are too passionate and ambitious. Well, there is no option for Africa. Africa has already waited for too long,” Nigeria former Minister of Agriculture argued.
The overhaul of the operations of AFDB, Adesina submitted would further leverage the bank toward effective alleviation of 500 million Africans living below poverty line, reduce spending on food imports, enhance continental security and meet commitments to climate change challenges.
Available evidence linked to climatic change, AFDB said, has led to the increasing poverty level in the continent, with the attendant annual growth in food import receipts and associated environmental challenges which undermine regional security.
Adesina said described as unacceptable Africa’s commitment of 35 billion dollars annually to food imports with a growth projection of 110 billion dollars by 2020 in spite of having an arable land mass of 65 per cent.
Undaunted with the development challenges, AFDB President explained that the bank were marching pronouncements with actions, going by the level of its financial intervention in Africa in 2015.
Within the period under review, Adesina said that the bank’s lending profile hit an all-time high of nine billion dollars, with 1.3 billion dollars committed to energy projects across Africa.
He also re-emphasised their commitment toward financing renewable energy projects – including the 300 MW Lake Turkana wind plant, Noor solar power plant in Morocco, regional power pool and the Ruzizi III 147 MW power plant to light up Rwanda, Burundi and Republic of Congo.
On the New Energy Deal for Africa, Adesina pledged 12 billion dollars as AFDB seed investment over five years in the continents energy mix development approach.
He also said that the banks seed capital investment compelled them remain optimistic in leveraging between 45 billion and 50 billion into Africa’s energy sector within the targeted period.