Home to some of the world's fastest growing economies and a young, increasingly technology-savvy population, Africa witnessed major changes in the last decade. African countries have made significant progress in maintaining strong GDP growth; however, sustaining progress is crucial as the pace of poverty reduction is slowing down. It is estimated that, in 2019, nearly 70% of the world’s poor will live in Africa, up from 50% five years ago.
This is an important year for Africa. More than a dozen Presidential elections will be held in 2019 across the continent including in Nigeria, Mauritania and Mozambique. The Presidency of the African Union (AU) has changed hands from Rwanda to Egypt with the latter looking to shift the institution’s focus from regional integration to promoting peace and security. The final four signatories to the Africa Continental Free Trade will hopefully ascend to this historic commitment in 2019.One of the key events for the African continent to look forward to is also the 15th Replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-15).
For 45 years, the African Development Fund has been addressing regional integration and fragility, providing innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges and delivering concrete impact on the ground for the people of the continent. For 14 replenishment cycles, ADF Donors have steadfastly stood by the African Development Fund entrusting it with scarce grant resources to help African countries to achieve sustainable and inclusive prosperity.
Why do we believe the ADF-15 Replenishment to be one of the most critical events of 2019 for the continent?
- First, ADF directly supports 70% of African countries through very concessional loans and grants that focus on selective, strategic sectors where ADF has a comparative advantage. ADF has also worked in tandem with the Bank’s non-concessional window to support private sector interventions in Africa’s poorest countries though the provision of quality infrastructure and enabling environments that increase Africa’s attractiveness for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). With the replenishment of ADF, 37 African countries can be assured of predictable and stable resources for their development.
- Secondly, ADF has developed a strategic focus on fragility over the years, meaning that a successful replenishment in 2019 will disproportionally support Africa’s poorest. In fact, the ADF established a dedicated facility in 2008 (today called the Transition States Fragility), to provide targeted support to countries in situations of fragility, knowing that these countries require an additional measure of attention. Today, the TSF focuses on 21 African countries, including the Sahel and the Horn of Africa regions, looking into issues varying from migration to illicit financial flows. The ADF-15 replenishment signals that these 21 countries still matter for global stability and prosperity.
- Thirdly, the ADF delivers tangible transformational development impact, providing high value for money. From 2014 to 2018 alone, ADF has built 2,730km of distribution lines, delivered improved agriculture technologies to 7.8 million Africans, and provided 13 million Africans with improved access to transportation across borders. ADF replenishment is a critical event because it means the people of Africa will continue to receive improved infrastructure, social services and improved quality of life. In the absence of an ADF replenishment, it would be a challenge to consolidate and scale up these gains.
Indeed, while the results of our operations and interventions have transformed the lives of many, the continent’s development needs remain enormous, requiring a strong, dynamic and well-funded ADF that delivers unrivalled results in a cost-effective manner.
Over the next few months, we will share with you the facts, figures, and faces of the African Development Fund. This year we are tasked to celebrate ADF's wins, consolidate gains, tackle persistent hurdles and craft credible plans for the positive and sustained development of our regional member countries. We believe you will agree that the ADF-15 Replenishment is a critical milestone in Africa's 2019 calendar. For now, enjoy this introductory video on ADF's mandate and achievements.