AfDB mobilizes funds for projects through integrated platforms
By Kester Kenn Klomegah
The African Development Bank (AfDB), whose main missions are to contribute to the economic and social development of the continent by providing the necessary concessional financing for projects and programs, as well as by offering and coordinating assistance for capacity building activities capacities, has now embarked on various post-COVID-19 initiatives across the continent, particularly in least developed African countries.
The latest was the mid-March event where potential investors reviewed more than $50 billion in bankable projects organized in key priority sectors identified in the United Response 2020 COVID-19 initiative. the Africa Investment Forum.
Sectors include agriculture and agribusiness; education; energy and climate; Health care; minerals and mining; information and communication technology and telecommunications; and industrialization and trade. Nine of these projects are led by women, with a potential value of $5 billion.
The AfDB has secured $32.8 billion in investment commitments for projects in Africa. The biggest deal struck at the three-day Africa Investment Forum was $15.6 billion for the approximately 1,200 km (745 mile) Lagos-Abidjan mega highway that will have four to six lanes, linking the two main cities of West Africa in Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire, said AfDB President, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina.
“Africa is a very bankable continent. We have been through tough times because of the Covid-19 situation, but here we are on a rebound,” Adesina said. “Africa is back for investment.” The projects, which are part of the bank’s response to Covid-19, affect sectors such as agriculture and agribusiness, education, energy and climate, health, minerals and l mining, and information and communication technologies.
Adesina said that on the health side, projects include a new medical city in Accra, Ghana, a fund for health services for low-income populations in South Africa and two pharmaceutical manufacturing platforms: a in West Africa and one in Kenya.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), launched under the African Union, provides unique and valuable access to an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people. Concretely, it aims to create a continental market for goods and services, with the free movement of businessmen and investments in Africa.
The bank, in collaboration with health giants, has also sought to leverage benefits and conditions to advance health issues. It should also advance the integration of African markets and standards for pharmaceuticals and other products.
Accordingly, the Africa Investment Forum is arranging several investment-ready transactions that closely align with the three pillars of health outlined by the AfDB President.
Investor board sessions feature a $49 million deal involving the construction of a pharmaceutical and biomedical center in West Africa. The hub will include a logistics platform, research and development facilities and an academic institution that could serve the region and the continent at large in the manufacture of vaccines and the development of drugs and medical.
A second vaccine-related transaction is a $45 million production plant in East Africa, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified. The factory will regularly produce three vaccines, including one for COVID-19.
It is no surprise that the WHO recently announced that Kenya, Senegal, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria would be the first participants in its technology transfer center initiative. mRNA. The initiative paves the way for the manufacturing and licensing of a range of pharmaceutical products in these six countries. It is likely to generate strong investor interest in the booming pharmaceutical sector in Africa.
The Africa Investment Forum and the AfDB have championed two initiatives that promote trade integration and regulatory harmonization across Africa. These are the African Medical Agency and the African Continental Free Trade Area.
In order to pursue its objectives, the AfDB approved a financing of 127.8 million dollars in Niger. The funds approved by the board of directors of the African Development Fund, the concessionary branch of the Group, will be used for a project to open up agricultural and pastoral land in the east of the country, along its border with Nigeria.
It also approved a $125.3 million loan to fund the first phase of the Dodoma Sustainable Water Development and Sanitation Program in Tanzania.
Specifically, the African Development Fund loan will cover the construction of a dam and a water treatment plant to address supply issues in the town of Dodoma and the towns of Bahi, Chemba and Chamwino.
As lead partner of the 9th World Water Forum, it plans to allocate more than $5.6 million to support the forum, billed as the largest international water-related gathering in the world. The event will be an opportunity for participants to better understand how the bank provides technical and financial support to regional member countries to achieve water security for sustainable development in their territories through its development department. water and sanitation.
“As one of the main financing institutions on the continent committed to the development of the water and sanitation sectors in Africa, it is natural that the African Development Bank supports the government of Senegal in co- organizing this Forum,” said Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development. “Failure is not an option when it comes to alleviating the imbalance between water needs and water availability to drive economic development and stability,” she added.
Last month, for example, it approved a $1.4 million grant to strengthen private sector engagement and capacity building for refugees and displaced people in fragile areas of northern Mozambique.
The project will be implemented by the global refugee agency UNHCR, in collaboration with the government of Mozambique. The grant comes from Pillar III of the Transition Support Facility.
Mozambique hosts 28,000 refugees and asylum seekers and more than 735,000 people displaced by ongoing violence in Cabo Delgado province. The majority of internally displaced persons remained in the province. About 69,000 people moved to Nampula and the rest moved to Niassa, Sofala and Zambezia provinces.
As US and European sanctions have widened due to the “Special Military Operation”, largely aimed at “demilitarization” and “denazification” in Ukraine, there are, no doubt, terrible impacts on the African economy: increase in the price of gas, oil, agricultural raw materials… et cetera.
There is also a certain African ambiguity about Russia, with the public seeing Putin as a strongman who would therefore have the right to decide a country’s future security alliances while being very concerned about its sovereignty.
The Russian-Ukrainian crisis that began on February 24 has, to a large extent, affected a number of African countries. The AfDB plans to raise $1bn (£759m) to support agricultural production in Africa and protect the continent from potential food shortages resulting from the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Agricultural trade between mainland countries and Russia and Ukraine is significant. African countries imported $4 billion worth of agricultural products from Russia in 2020.
About 90% of these products were wheat and 6% sunflower oil. The main importing countries were Egypt, which accounted for nearly half of imports, followed by Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya and South Africa.
The UN also says that at least 15 African countries get more than half of their wheat from the two warring countries. Somalia, Benin, Egypt and Sudan are the most dependent. “The AfDB considers that these increases in the prices of wheat, corn and soybeans will potentially worsen food insecurity and increase inflation,” Adesina said.
The bank intends to organize a meeting of African ministers of finance and agriculture to roll out this plan. Through this fund, the AfDB aims to increase the production of wheat, rice, corn and soybeans using climate-resilient technologies, including heat- and drought-tolerant crop varieties. The heat-tolerant wheat variety has already been tested in Sudan and Ethiopia.
The Africa Investment Forum, launched in 2018, is a multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary platform that advances private and public-private partnership projects towards bankability. It raises capital and accelerates transactions to financial close.
The Africa Investment Forum is an initiative of the eight founding partners including the African Development Bank; Africa 50; the African Finance Corporation; the African Export-Import Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa; the Trade and Development Bank; the European Investment Bank; and the Islamic Development Bank.