Ghana president calls for more resources to develop Africa

The African Development Bank Group president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on a visit to the four-tier Pokuase road interchange in Accra, Ghana. The project is part of the multi-component Accra Urban Transport Project. Image credit: African Development Bank Group on Flickr.

Ghana president calls for more resources to develop Africa

Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo has backed calls for more resources for the African Development Bank Group to accelerate its transformative role across the continent.

Akufo-Addo spoke during a visit by the African Development Bank Group president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, to Accra in Ghana last week.

Akufo-Addo expressed strong support for a significant replenishment of the African Development Fund, the African Development Bank Group’s concessional financing arm. He said that the work of the Fund has become even more critical in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and most recently, the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We must all focus on how best we can expand the capital base of the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund to give them greater significance in terms of being able to raise money on the global bond market… This way, we can play the lead role in financing our development,” he said.

The African Development Bank Group’s 2022 annual meeting will be held in Accra next week. This year’s meeting will mark the 50th anniversary of the African Development Fund. Since its establishment, the fund has invested more than USD45-billion in low-income countries and fragile states.

Fund needs to tap global capital markets

According to Adesina the African Development Bank would make a case for a strong African Development Fund-16 replenishment during next week’s gathering. Adesina stressed the importance of allowing the fund to use its equity to tap global capital market and assist low-income African countries. Akufo-Addo’s backing of this proposal will be critical.

The African Development Bank Group’s active portfolio in Ghana is made up of 18 operations worth a total commitment of USD751.5- million across various sectors. Transport accounts for the largest share of 42% while agriculture amounts to 23%.

Key bank financed projects

Key among the bank’s financed projects is the four-tier Pokuase road interchange in Ghana, which is part of the multi-component Accra Urban Transport Project. Completed in July 2021, the interchange is the first of its kind in West Africa and the second largest in Africa.The interchange has reportedly eased travel time from two hours to 30 minutes.

According to Selina Avevor, leader of the Kpobiman Women Association (which trains women in livelihood skills such as catering, batik tie-dye, and other crafts) the government of Ghana was able to provide the association with a 20-bed hostel with air-conditioning to house trainees thanks to financial support from the African Development Bank.

“They also provided us with a new 150-liter soap-making machine, flour mixing machines with electric motors, and four rollers with electric motors. In addition, they constructed a borehole and gave us a water storage tank and office furniture,” said Avevor.

Adesina commended the Ghanaian authorities for ensuring value for money in the execution of the project, particularly by utilising funds initially meant for a three-tier structure to build a four-tier facility. “Similarly gratifying for me is the facility’s impact on people’s lives,” he said.

Ghana president calls for more resources to develop Africa

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