African Development Bank’s Investments Are Transforming The Continent, Unlocking Economic Potential, And Spurring Development – 2020 ADER Report


By Celestine Okorie

From agro-processing initiatives to energy, transportation and water and sanitation services, transformative investments by the African Development Bank are paving the way to unlock Africa’s economic potential, according to the 2020 Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER), released on Friday.

The report, which analysed the Bank’s contribution to Africa’s development in 2019 is themed Building resilient African economies.

“Our goal has been and always will be to transform Africa through investments that make a difference to those who need it most. We are a bank that invests in people,” said Bank President Akinwumi Adesina. “People are our core business. Their quality of life is our greatest return!”

The annual report uses the Bank’s results measurement framework to measure its performance, to reflect on its accomplishments and areas in which it can strengthen its effectiveness to achieve its High 5 development goals: Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.

“We have increased the quality and speed of our operations, we are more present in partner countries, and our development impact is deepening,” said Acting Senior Vice-President and Chief Finance Officer, Ms. Swazi Tshabalala.

A year of transformative impact

Among its findings in 2019, 20.3 million people benefited from improved agriculture in Africa through operations supported by the Bank. In Uganda, for instance, the Bank’s support for the Community Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Programme is boosting farmers’ income through agro-processing initiatives, and better access to markets, benefiting 2.4 million rural households.

In other High 5 areas, the Bank’s operations helped to install 291 MW of new power capacity—60 per cent of which was renewable—and supplied 468 000 people with new electricity connections. It also impacted 1 million people through private sector investee companies, 17.7 million people through better transport services, and 10.1 million people through improved access to water and sanitation.

The Bank has always been a strong champion of regional integration in Africa through supports focused on catalyzing public and private investment in road, transport, and electricity connectivity. For instance, in 2019, the Bank helped build or rehabilitate transport links between Burundi, Rwanda, and the East Africa Community; between Ethiopia and Kenya; and between Kenya and Tanzania.

“We must continue to build on our strength as a development agency and enhance the quality and impact of our operations so that Africa can achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030,” said Director for Delivery, Performance Management and Results at the Bank, Simon Mizrahi.

The Bank has worked intensively through its presence in 41 countries to get its operations closer to its clients, respond more effectively to the needs of countries, and better manage its operations.

The COVID-19 global pandemic’s growing foothold across Africa is shifting governments’ priorities. These projects and the Bank’s new COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility will support African countries and businesses through the crisis.

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