Investments by the African Development Bank (AfDB) are transforming Africa, unlocking economic potential and spurring development, according to the 2020 Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) report.
The report highlighted that 20.3 million people in Africa are benefiting from improvements to agriculture, of which 47% are women, with 3,919 km of feeder roads also either rehabilitated or built.
From agro-processing initiatives to energy, transportation, and water and sanitation services, the AfDB’s transformative investments are paving the way to unlock Africa’s economic potential, the report said.
“Within the field of education, the Bank is a leading investor in technical vocational education and training (TVET),” the bank said, “In 2019, we completed large-scale TVET projects in Egypt, Eritrea, Malawi, Niger, and Rwanda.”
Furthermore, the bank financed Egypt’s Institute of National Planning (INP), in order to strengthen its teaching, training, and research capacity to serve local and regional clients, the report read.
In 2019, the bank completed projects relating to a wastewater treatment plant in Egypt than can serve 2.5 million people.
The AfDB’s continued support for water, sanitation, and health services, will be especially important in the coming year, as African countries strive to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and treat those infected. It will also be vital for sustaining the response to other health challenges, such as cholera and dysentery, which are a major cause of death and illness in Africa.
Moreover, the AfDB has provided support to efforts to create a streamlined and transparent industrial licensing regime in Egypt, a new competition framework, and a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) investment regime.
This has reduced the average number of days required to comply with industrial licensing requirements, from 634 in 2015 to just 7 for low-risk industries and 30 for high-risk industries in 2017.
Additionally, the Bank’s operations helped to install 291 MW of new power capacity, 60% of which was renewable, and supplied 468,000 people with new electricity connections.
It has also impacted 1 million people through private sector investee companies, 17.7 million people through better transport services, and 10.1 million people through improved access to water and sanitation.
The Bank has always been a strong champion of regional integration in Africa through supports focused on catalysing public and private investment in road, transport, and electricity connectivity.
It has worked intensively through its presence in 41 countries, to get its operations closer to its clients, respond more effectively to the needs of countries, and better manage its operations, the report said.
The AfDB further elaborated that the global pandemic’s growing foothold across Africa is shifting government priorities. These projects, and the Bank’s new COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility, will support African countries and businesses through the crisis.
“Our goal has been, and always will be, to transform Africa through investments that make a difference to those who need it most, as we are a bank that invests in people,” said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, “People are our core business, and their quality of life is our greatest return.”
Swazi Tshabalala, Acting Senior Vice-President and Chief Finance Officer at the bank, said, “We have increased the quality and speed of our operations, we are more present in partner countries, and our development impact is deepening.”