d’Ivoire -- East
African governors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday
commended the institution for approving transformative projects
valued at $13.8 billion since 2010.
The projects in ICT, education, public finance, energy,
transport, water and sanitation sectors, make the institution "a
trusted partner for delivering innovative solutions" the
governors noted during consultative meetings with the
institution’s president and senior management.
Governors and representatives from Burundi, Djibouti, Rwanda,
Comoros, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda
attended the high-level meetings.
The meetings were an opportunity for Governors to pitch
regional needs and highlight country-specific opportunities.
According to Makki Mohamed Abdelrahim Alian, temporary
Governor for Sudan, "Sudan needs the Bank’s High 5s because it
addresses Sudan’s needs."
Alian said through the Feed Africa program "Africa can feed
itself and feed the world, as well as pioneer healthy food
production, which is in demand globally."
Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Finance Minister said:
"Ethiopia is keen to advance regional integration and
consolidate its peace agreement with Eritrea in order to
leverage the Bank’s support for regional infrastructure
"There are many opportunities to work with the Bank on our
ambitious infrastructure projects."
In response, Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said:
"There’s no doubt that the landmark signing of the peace
accord between Ethiopia and Eritrea has opened up a lot more
opportunities for investments by the Bank in the Horn of
Adesina acknowledged the leading role of the 13 East African
regional member states of the African Development Bank Group in
the economic transformation of the continent.
With 340 million inhabitants, the region is Africa’s fastest
growing economic bloc (growing well above the continent’s 4 per
cent average growth rate), recording GDP growth of 5.7 per cent
in 2018 and projected to grow at 5.9 per cent and 6.1 per cent
in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
"Despite this progress, important challenges remain,
hampering the quest to eradicate poverty and galvanize growth
and economic development in the region," Celestin Monga, the
Bank’s Chief Economist cautioned.
He observed that the region remained prone to peace and
security threats, climate change, rising public debt and uneven
Gabriel Negatu, Director General, East Africa Regional
Development and Business Delivery Office, showcased several
The Bank Group’s current East Africa portfolio is estimated
at $11.6 billion.
In 2018, its sovereign and non-sovereign approvals stood at
The Bank’s regional projects include Africa’s largest wind
power plant in Lake Turkana, Kenya, and the Ethiopia-Kenya power
In Kenya, the Bank’s Last Mile Connectivity project has
provided electricity connections to the grid for over 3 million
The Bugagali hydropower project in Uganda has doubled the
country’s electricity supply, reduced bulk tariffs by 66 per
cent, and improved affordability for citizens.
According to Negatu, the Addis-Nairobi-Mombasa road has
contributed a 5-fold increase to trade volumes between Kenya and
In the technology space, the Bank-financed 1,900 km submarine
cable project from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to Seychelles has
made access to the internet significantly faster.
The Rwanda Innovation Fund has also helped position Rwanda as
a hub for ICT services in the region.
The Bank announced the second annual Africa Investment Forum
in Johannesburg in November 2019. According to Stella Kilonzo,
Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum, "building a
strong pipeline of bankable projects well ahead of the forum is
Timothy Turner, Group Chief Risk Officer showcased new
financial products aimed at optimizing the Bank’s balance sheet,
including "Room2Run", an innovative $1 billion synthetic
Governors voiced their support for a general capital increase
and offered country-specific testimonials about the
transformative impact of the Bank’s projects and investment.
Swazi Tshabalala, Vice President & Chief Finance Officer
said, "a general capital increase will boost the Bank’s
comparative advantage in governance, resource mobilization,
regional integration, infrastructure and private sector
In his closing remarks, President Adesina thanked the
Governors for their continued trust in the the Bank.
"Your presence here matters.
"Your voice is critical.
"Your support is also crucial.
"I have no doubt you will continue to speak for Africa."