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AFDB falls on Akufo-Addo’s succor 

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The African Development Headquaters in Abidjan

The African Development Bank (AFDB) is seeking the support of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in its quest to leverage more resources for the African continent.

The bank said it intends to make a case at this year’s annual meeting to be allowed to use its equity to go to the market for more resources for the continent, a move that needs the contribution and support of President Akufo-Addo.

The President of the Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said this yesterday when he visited Jubilee House to invite President Akufo-Addo to the annual meeting to be held in Accra from May 23 to May 27, 2022.

In his address, Dr Adesina appreciated the decision of Ghana to host the meeting, which hitherto occurred in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

He said that several African leaders have been invited, including President of Senegal, Macky Sall, President Muhammudu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Alassane Quattara of Côte d’Ivoire, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya. The Prime Minister for Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley has also been invited.

Dr Adesina appealed to President Akufo-Addo to urgently send personal invites to his colleague Heads of State to secure their acceptance to attend the meeting.

Explaining the positive impact of hosting the meeting in Ghana, Dr Adesina said “The African Heads of State will be here to see first-hand the great progress Ghana has made. They will ride over the AFDB financed $48m 4-tier Interchange at Pokuase, the first of its kind in West Africa and the second in sub-Saharan Africa.”

He continued that, “They will get to see the AFDB extension of the Kotoka International Airport Terminal 3, which has helped to expand passenger and cargo traffic to Ghana. They will get to hear about the great efforts that you and your government are making to develop the agriculture sector with the $72m AFDB financed Savanna development program…and Mr President, they will be very happy to hear and learn about the Year of Return that Ghana under your leadership has put in place. The world will hear again about Ghana Beyond Aid and Africa Beyond Aid.”

In his response, President Akufo-Addo noted that the presence of the African leaders to the meeting would create an opportunity to make a good case about the need to mobilise more resources for the AFDB. “At the heart of the matter; that’s for me, the most critical issue,” he added.

According to President Akufo-Addo, it was not comfortable for the World Bank to be leading financing in Africa, a narrative he wants changed. To him, the AFDB should rather lead in the financing and the World Bank supports, “and not the other way round.”

However, he believes that achieving that goal required focus on how best the capital base of AFDB could be expanded.

“So, having these African leaders here to be able to make this clarion call, I think it will be a very important development for all of us,” he remarked.

President Akufo-Addo expressed the appreciation of Ghana to the bank for their support and pleaded that the relationship between the bank and Ghana should continue.

He commended Dr Adesina for the significant changes he had brought to the bank since he took over and encouraging him by saying “more grease to your elbow.”

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