The President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, has charged governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to “make the right decision” to enable the continent achieve its development goals.
President Ouattara made the remarks on Thursday at the opening session of the 5th Extraordinary Meeting of the African Development Bank Board of Governors in Abidjan, the country’s capital.
He said: “Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 requires substantial financial resources. Africa cannot achieve these goals without the financial support and technical assistance of partners, including the African Development Bank.
“We are convinced that the Governors will make the right decision, to agree on a general capital increase.
“The Board of Governors, (African Development Bank) President Adesina and his team will take all appropriate steps for prompt, full implementation of commitments made for reforms to optimize operational headroom resulting from the additional capital”, President Ouattara added.
Addressing the delegates at the meeting, the AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who warmly welcomed the presence of President Ouattara, members of his Government, and shareholders, expressed appreciation to the development finance institution’s shareholders and other dignitaries for attending the meeting, saying that the support by them continues to streghten the board in its efforts to achieve the bank’s goals.
Adesina enthused: “Looking around me, I am delighted to see you, our shareholders, among us. Your presence inspires us. Your support strengthens us. Your advice lights our pathway towards the mission you have entrusted to us.”
In his address to the governors of the bank, the AfDB President noted that their decision on the capital increase will fully replenish us.
He explained further: “This is a historic moment for a historic decision! We have climbed the steep slope of the mountain that is development in Africa, but we still have a long path to travel. Your support will fill our lungs with oxygen to keep us climbing upwards until we reach the top.”
With the general capital increase, the Bank will be in a position to develop a range of ambitious initiatives on the continent: Desert to Power aims to provide 250 million people with access to electricity in the Sahel region, while AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) aims to mobilize $3 billion in new financing.
In addition, the continental development finance institution also plans to double climate funding and make the African continental free trade area a reality.
In his remarks, Minister of Planning and Development of Côte d’Ivoire and President of the Board of Governors, Nialé Kaba, recalled the path travelled over the past two years since the Bank first expressed a wish for this capital increase, pointing out that “the goal is to provide the means to address challenges. Africa looks to us, not with apprehension but with hope. I am convinced that we will succeed in joining our efforts to achieve the expected objective.”