BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 24, 2018/APO Group/ --

Korean President Moon Jae-in has committed to sharing Korea’s technological and industrial experience with Africa and to help it compete in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

His message came at the opening ceremony of the 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (https://AM.AfDB.org/en). “Africa is no longer the sleeping lion. Korea is happy to share its industrial experience with the continent. The theme of the Annual Meetings is appropriate for the industrial transformation of the continent, and in facilitating the sharing of experiences with Korea and other partners.” 

African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina thanked the Government of Korea for hosting the Bank’s Annual Meetings. He recalled Korea’s transformation from a poor nation 60 years ago to the 11th largest economy in the world, noting the contribution of industrialization to its transformation. “Today, Samsung and LG television and phones dominate globally, while Korean cars are everywhere. Korea was deliberate and consistent in its industrial drive like China and Japan. Africa must learn from Korea’s industrialization and the equally remarkable experiences of China, Japan, and other parts of the world.”

“Africa must fast-track industrialization. That is why the African Development Bank plans to invest US $35 billion over the next 10 years in its focus on industrialization. The Bank’s industrialization strategy hopes to help Africa raise its industrial GDP from a little over US $700 billion today to over US $1.72 trillion by 2030. This will allow Africa’s GDP to rise to over US $5.6 trillion, while moving GDP per capita to over US $3,350.

“The formula for the wealth of nations is clear: rich nations add value to all they produce; poor nations simply export raw materials. Africa needs to industrialize and add value to everything that it produces – from agriculture, to minerals, to oil, gas and metals. Africa needs to move from the bottom to the top of the global value chains.”

Young Africans can transform the continent given the chance. He described the experience of Clarisse Iribagiza, a young Rwandan woman who earned a master’s in Information and Communications Technology from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, a program supported by the Bank. With a modest contribution from the Government of Rwanda, Clarisse launched an ICT business that she recently sold for US $10 million. She is now a member of the Bank’s Presidential Youth Advisory Council.

To unlock Africa’s potential through investment, the Bank has created the Africa Investment Forum (www.AfricaInvestmentForum.com), a transactional platform created by the African Development Bank with its partners to leverage global pension funds and sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors to significantly invest in Africa. This new investment marketplace will set sail from November 7-9, 2018 from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dong Yeon Kim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea, said a new approach was urgently needed. He referred to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a 19th-century American novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe that envisioned a promising future for Africa. 

“Harriet Stowe was right. Very surprisingly, we now witness strong evidence of Africa flourishing, just as she predicted. Growth in the region over the past 20 years was 3% higher than the previous period, and the absolute poverty ratio decreased to two thirds of what it was two decades ago.” 

Kim stressed the need for innovative industrialization to translate Africa’s potential into economic prosperity.

“Industrialization policy should take into account the unique conditions of each country. New technologies can provide leapfrogging opportunities by speeding up the industrialization process and creating new value.” Smart infrastructure, he said, presents a promising area for Korea’s contribution.

“Smart infrastructure can provide a new solution to Africa’s shortage in roads, airports and harbours. It allows optimal use of resources and can even replace traditional infrastructure. Africa is already producing substantial outcomes in this area. Going forward, Korea is strongly committed to share its rich expertise and experience as Africa’s close partner.”

In his address, the Chairman of the African Union and Rwandan President, Paul Kagame noted that holding the Annual Meetings in Busan presents a unique opportunity to enforce the growth cooperation between Africa and the Republic of Korea.

“Korea has been a strong and reliable partner of Africa. Africa faces challenges that we can address together,” he said.

Photo gallery: https://goo.gl/bQLNzU

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BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2018/APO Group/ --

Scientific evidence shows that African economies are already reeling from the devastating effects of climate change, further exacerbating their development challenges. Of the 10 countries in the world that are most threatened by climate change, seven are in Africa.

Cognizant of this situation, the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) led the way to what may turn out to be Africa’s most decisive action to ensure that the continent is not short-changed by climate finance.

At the 53rd Annual Meetings of the Bank (https://am.AfDB.org/en), in Busan, Korea, the institution brought stakeholders together for an “open dialogue” to discuss the establishment of the Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change (AFAC). The initiative was well received by key continental and global stakeholders who agreed with the Bank that Africa needs immediate climate change action.

“The establishment of the African Financial Alliance for Climate Change is a call for us to stand together to mobilize climate finance at scale to meet the needs in Africa,” Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said Friday.

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement calls on countries to increase their ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change without threatening food production, and make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

“As Africa’s premier development financial institution, the African Development Bank is already taking action. The Bank is leading Africa’s transition to climate resilient economies,” he said. “The financing needs to meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement in Africa are enormous. The implementation of Africa’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) would require investments of at least $2.7 trillion for mitigation and another $488 billion for adaptation by 2030.”

The international community has pledged to mobilize $100 billion in climate finance per annum by 2020 to support adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries. However, of the US $820 billion in climate finance flows for 2015 and 2016, only US $16 billion was for Africa. This represents a mere 2% of the total.

“This is why the African Development Bank is hosting this open dialogue to initiate the establishment of the African Financial Alliance for Climate Change as a call for us to stand together to mobilize climate finance at scale to meet the needs in Africa,” Adesina added. 

He noted that the Bank could not achieve the task alone, pointing out that without achieving the Paris Climate Agreement in Africa, the world will not achieve the required reductions in greenhouse gases to keep global temperatures below the required target.

The Alliance brings together Africa’s financial sector, including Ministers of Finance, Central Banks, insurance and reinsurance companies, sovereign wealth and pension funds, stock exchanges as well as global thought leaders to mobilize climate finance for Africa. It also hopes to come up with concrete proposals to mobilize both domestic and international finance for climate-resilient development in Africa.  “Together, we can create a Decarbonisation Index for Africa,” President Adesina told the meeting.

“The idea of having the Alliance is a fantastic one, because we recognize that the world is also looking to us. While Africa is not the primary cause of the climate change that we see in the word today, we are the continent where the impact is very great, and the world is not as prepared to finance us to take care of this impact. We can’t let it go because it is our people who are suffering,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Africa Risk Capacity (ARC).

“Just for you to know the impact of climate change, of all the drought that occurs in the world, 41% occurs on the African continent. We lose about 485,000 people to indoor pollution, premature deaths that could have been avoided and also the devastating impact caused by flood. I can go on and on.”

The President of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Chair of the Association of African DFIs, Patrick Dlamini, observed that collaboration was crucial to catalyzing funds and making a difference. “This is possible under the leadership of the African Development Bank. We can then play our role as development finance institutions to being the policy instruments of our various Governments and in alliance with partners.”

The CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Naoko Ishii, pledged the support of her organization for the Alliance and was optimistic that it would motivate the GEF to do much more for Africa.

For his part, Howard Bamsey, CEO of Green Climate Fund, said, “The Alliance is a fundamental step towards meeting the climate change challenge in Africa. There has to be an African solution to the challenge that we face and this initiative presents the opportunity to mobilize that.”

The Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change will be launched on the margins of the Africa Investment Forum (www.AfricaInvestmentForum.com) in South Africa, November 7 to 9, 2018 and will bring together heads of financial institutions.  

Read more: African Development Bank takes landmark lead on...

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 25, 2018/APO Group/ --

Today, Africa Day, citizens and communities in almost 20 countries across the African continent are gathering, taking to the streets and actively blocking the fossil fuel economy as part of a continent-wide day of action.

By joining the Break Free movement, regular citizens and activists from communities across Africa will call on governments and business to put an end to fossil fuels and move towards a just transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

There are over 30 events registered (goo.gl/hnLJE1), in which those hardest hit by fossil fuels projects and the impacts of climate change will make their voices heard by those in power.

Some of these events include:

  • A picket in Lephalale where communities will call for the cancellation of the local proposed private coal-fired power station, Thabametsi;
  • A photo exhibition showcasing the work of anti-coal activists (Lamu);
  • Representatives from coal mining affected communities will denounce the effects of coal mining (Abuja);
  • ACRP will update local decision makers on the realities of climate change and discuss their plans and progress towards shifting to 100% renewable energy (Johannesburg);
  • Anti coal activists will be mobilising in Bargny, Ngadje beach to oppose the launch of the first coal power plant in (Senegal).

The Break Free movement in Africa is co-ordinated by Greenpeace Africa (www.Greenpeace.org/africa), African Climate Reality Project (ACRP), 350.org (http://350.org) and Earthlife Africa Jhb: empowering local communities to rise with acts of courage and come together as a global movement for climate action and justice.

Content for documentation will be made available on the co-ordinating organisations’ social media platforms, including soundbites from our Break Free podcasts and hi-res images of the local events.

QUOTES

“Funding fossil fuel development will only exacerbate the impacts of climate change. Africa has an opportunity to develop its energy sector using clean, renewable energy. It is this development that banks and financial institutions should support, and break free from financing fossil fuels. It's time to deCOALonise Africa!" -  Landry Ninteretse, Regional Team leader, 350.org (http://350.org

"South Africa’s almost complete reliance on coal for electricity has severe consequences for water. To protect our right to clean and accessible drinking water, we must Break Free from coal and irrational water-intensive projects like Thabametsi must be stopped. There are effective alternatives to coal, but there are no alternatives to water" - Nhlanhla Sibisi, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Africa.

“Declaring War against mother earth is suicidal, because no one gives breath best like she does. Coal fired power stations are a giant ticking time bomb, waiting to explode.” - Thabo Sibeko, Programs & Education Officer, Earthlife Africa.

“By having more fossil fuels burning in South Africa we expect to see increased climate change impacts in our country – and that’s from a bigger, long term perspective. By developing in water-stressed regions, coal-fired power stations would be undermining a crucial resource that they need to run, while putting extreme pressure on the surrounding communities’ basic needs”. – Gillian Hamilton, ACRP Branch Manager.

Notes

350.org (http://350.org) is building the global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to science and justice.

Earthlife Africa is a non profit organisation that encourages and supports individuals, businesses and industries to reduce pollution, minimise waste and protect our natural resources.

Greenpeace Africa (www.Greenpeace.org/africa) is an independent environmental campaigning organization with a vision of ‘an Africa where people live in harmony with nature in a peaceful state of environmental and social justice’.

The African Climate Reality Project works with African Climate Leaders, governments, NGOs and scientists across the continent to create tools and resources to support a network of African leaders who mobilise communities to find solutions to climate change.

Read more: Africans want the continent to #BreakFree from...

BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 24, 2018/APO Group/ --

The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) is delivering on its goals and making good progress towards achieving its development and operational targets according to the 2018 Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) (https://goo.gl/LQoJUJ), which was released at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Every year, ADER scrutinizes the Bank’s operational effectiveness and its organizational efficiency, using the Bank’s results measurement framework for 2016-2025. It brings together evidence of strengths and weaknesses to provide management with a clear understanding of what has worked well and what the Bank must do better to achieve its High 5 development goals.

“The report shows that the African Development Bank is delivering on its commitment to help Africa achieve the Bank’s High 5 priorities,” said Charles Boamah, Senior Vice-President. “The Bank continues to strengthen its effectiveness as an organization, while scaling up its operations.”

This year’s ADER has a special focus on industrializing Africa. “There are good reasons to be optimistic that industrialization is achievable in the coming years. Africa is open for business, with stable economies and supportive business environments,” said Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina. “It has a young and growing workforce that is increasingly global in outlook. Urbanization and the rise of the African middle class are opening up new consumer markets, which act as a magnet for investors.”

In 2017, companies had improved access to transport, energy, and skills, which expanded their ability to do business across the continent. The Bank contributed to these improvements: it provided 14 million people with access to transport – well above its target – while building or rehabilitating 2,500 km of roads in 2017 and also helped 210,000 small and micro businesses access finance, which benefitted 2.6 million people.

“This level of performance is promising, but we must continue driving operational delivery and impact,” said Simon Mizrahi, Bank Director for Delivery, Performance Management and Results.

The Bank is scaling up its efforts to accelerate the pace of industrialization, supported by its presence in 38 countries and by timely and quality operations. This backbone and experience position the Bank well to mobilize more resources from institutional investors around the world for industrial development.

Download the full report: https://bit.ly/2GOCfVe

Read more: African Development Bank delivers strong...

The African Development Bank and the Global Green Growth Institute partner to fast-track Green Growth in Africa This partnership reinforces the work of the Africa NDC Hub hosted by the African Development Bank, in accelerating climate action to transition Africa towards a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 25, 2018/APO Group/ -- The African Development Bank  (www.AfDB.org) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) (www.GGGI.org) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Friday on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Busan, (https://am.AfDB.org/en) to promote programs, projects, joint studies and research activities to accelerate green growth options for African countries. The African Development Bank and the Global Green Growth Institute will cooperate in several areas, including conducting a joint study on green growth readiness in Africa and exploring ways to align both organizations’ activities with the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Further, the two organizations will work together to generate synergies in areas, such as the Global Green Growth Institute’s cities programs and the African Development Bank’s initiatives on clean energy, sustainable landscapes, green cities and water and sanitation, with the ultimate goal of strengthening climate resilience in Africa. The MoU was signed by Amadou Hott, Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank, and Hyoeun Jenny Kim, Deputy Director General and Head of Green Growth Planning and Implementation, Global Green Growth Institute. “The African Development Bank believes in building strong partnerships to accelerate Africa’s development. This MoU with the Global Green Growth Institute strengthens our cooperation for effective delivery of the High 5s (www.AfDB.org/en/the-high-5) agenda in a manner that transitions African countries towards green growth. We very much look forward to this collaboration with GGGI,” said Vice-President Amadou Hott. Deputy Director General Hyoeun Jenny Kim said, “The MoU we sign today will also support the sharing of green growth knowledge and best practices from GGGI’s Member and partner countries. We look forward to conducting joint research activities with African Development Bank in designing and developing green growth projects and programs and sharing knowledge and experience through launching joint publications and participating in and co-organizing events – all of which will help to promote green growth in Africa.” This partnership reinforces the work of the Africa NDC Hub (https://goo.gl/jxuisv) hosted by the African Development Bank, in accelerating climate action to transition Africa towards a low carbon and climate resilient development pathway. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Contacts:
GGGI
HeeKyung Son, Communications Specialist, tel. +82 70-7117-9957, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

AfDB: 
Olivia Ndong Obiang, Principal Communication Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Davinah Milenge Uwella, Principal Program Coordinator, Climate Change and Green Growth Department
tel. +225 20 26 1880, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For more information on the 2018 Annual Meetings: https://am.AfDB.org/en 
#AfDBAM2018

About the African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org. You can also follow the Bank on Twitter and join us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/GGGIHQ), YouTube (www.YouTube.com/user/GGGIMedia),  Flickr (www.Flickr.com/photos/afdbgroup)  and  Instagram (https://Instagram.com/afdb_group).

About the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)
Based in Seoul, GGGI (www.GGGI.org) is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. GGGI delivers programs in 27 partner countries with technical support, capacity building, policy planning & implementation, and by helping to build a pipeline of bankable green investment projects. More on GGGI’s events, projects and publications can be found on www.GGGI.org. You can also follow GGGI on Twitter (https://Twitter.com/AfDB_Group) and join us on Facebook (https://goo.gl/DAX78J), YouTube (www.YouTube.com/user/afdbcomu) and LinkedIn (https://goo.gl/CUxPbF)

Photos: https://goo.gl/oxjeaY

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BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 24, 2018/APO Group/ --

On the sidelines of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) Annual Meetings in Busan, Korea, the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) (https://goo.gl/bkP5Bm) donors and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) have signed a grant agreement in support of local supply and utilization of fertilizer by smallholder farmers in Africa.

This FAPA grant of US $1 million will help increase affordability, accessibility and incentives for fertilizer use among smallholder farmers in Africa and expand the supply and distribution of fertilizer by leveraging investments. It is also intended to create over 1,000 jobs for women and youth. AFAP, the grantee, will match the FAPA grant.

The agreement was signed Wednesday by Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, and Jason Scarpone, CEO of the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership.

“This project is very much in line with the Feed Africa strategy of the African Development Bank.  It will promote  greater local supply of fertilizer to farmers thereby increasing productivity, which is central to the transformation of value chains,” Blanke said.

This initiative complements the Bank’s strategy for transforming agriculture value chains in Regional Member Countries and strengthening private enterprises. It also helps improve access to finance for blending companies and joint ventures in the agriculture sector. It will enhance distribution through agriculture input systems with agro-dealer networks in the targeted countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“Agriculture is one of the five priority areas of the Bank.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, 60% of the population lives in rural areas, while the proportion of agriculture in GDP is less than 20%,” said Soichiro Imaeda, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Finance in Japan, one of donors to FAPA. 

“Improving agricultural productivity is an urgent issue in achieving sustainable economic growth in Africa. We hope that this project will be effectively utilized and that farmers’ access to fertilizer will expand and agricultural productivity will increase in the five target African countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania.”

“Today’s grant agreement is not just about improving the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa; it also encourages  local supply and utilization of fertilizer in Africa. We’ll continue, through FAPA, to support agriculture finance projects in Africa,” Olivier Eweck, Director of the Syndication, Co-financing and Technical Solutions Department at the Bank, and Chair of the FAPA Technical Committee, said Wednesday.

Read more: Fund for African Private Sector Assistance...

SãO TOMé AND PRíNCIPE, Africa, June 5, 2018/APO Group/ --

The first President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) group to set foot on São Tomé and Príncipe, Akinwumi Adesina has arrived in the country for a five-day official visit to strengthen alliances between his institution and this lower middle-income island nation with a fragile economy.

He was welcomed by Américo dos Ramos, the Minister of Finance, Trade and Blue Economy, who is also the country’s Governor at the African Development Bank, and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urbino Botelho.

To help promote a competitive financial sector, the President of the African Development Bank launched the Payment System Infrastructure and Financial Inclusion Project (SPAUT) on Monday. The project – financed by a US $2.16-million loan from the African Development Fund, $299,000 from the World Bank and €345,600 from the Portuguese Trust Fund – aims to expand financial inclusion on the island.

“The payment system project launched today will have considerable development impact for São Tomé. An upgraded payment system infrastructure allows for and promotes interconnectivity with international credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard,” Adesina said.

“This, in turn, will help the country to position itself for what could be a genuine gold rush in the form of the tourist trade, as well as the longer term and more sustainable benefits of increasing regional and international trade, vital for island economies. It will also enhance private-sector growth through easier financial management conditions for enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Américo Dos Ramos welcomed the completion of this long overdue project. “We must meet the demands of our dynamic and ever-growing economy and our transformation agenda requires improvement of our financial platform to facilitate national and international financial transactions,” he said.

Earlier, the African Development Bank President and his delegation held a meeting with the Prime Minister, Patrice Emery Trovoada, the Governor of the Central Bank of São Tomé, Hélio Silva Almeida, and the Ministers of Finance, Infrastructure, Agriculture and Education. A meeting with the Head of State of São Tomé, Evaristo Carvalho, is also planned.

“Despite the many achievements of the government, we continue to face challenges in this country,” the Prime Minister said. According to him, improvement of airport infrastructure, which has allowed for an increase in the number of tourists, and port management are the key pillars of economic development.

Adesina commended the Government for its continued commitment to the implementation of macroeconomic and structural reforms to ensure stability and growth. “This country is beautiful and blessed. There is no reason for poverty to persist here,” he declared. Priority areas are job creation, especially among young people and women for inclusive growth, he said. Adesina also expressed the Bank’s willingness to help São Tomé and Príncipe to develop a blue economy strategy.

“We believe in the economy and the future of this country,” he said.

During roundtables with donors, bankers and the private sector, the Bank President invited the various stakeholders to the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) (www.AfricaInvestmentForum.com) to be held from November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Adesina is expected to visit two sites financed by the African Development Bank that have made significant contributions to the development of the rural sector. They include the Agronomic and Technological Research Center (CIAT), responsible for the protection and control of food products and the conservation of seeds, and the agro-pastoral technical improvement centre (CATAP). Both centres have been rehabilitated and equipped by the Bank.

Adesina will also visit Agripalma, a concession covering almost 5,000 hectares, located south of the island and intended for industrial oil palm plantations. More than 2,200 hectares of palm groves have been planted. A factory – currently under construction – will produce its first yield in 2018.

On the last day of his official visit, Adesina will visit Príncipe Island and meet with the President of Regional Government, José Cassandra.

The Bank Group commenced lending operations in São Tomé and Príncipe in 1978. São Tomé and Príncipe hosted one of the Bank’s first National Program Offices opened in 1995. To date, the country has benefited from cumulative financing of US $195.20 million since 1978. Assistance has expanded to several key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, structural adjustment programs, energy, transport, roads, telecommunications, water and sanitation, governance, financial sector and private sector development.

There are six ongoing operations valued at US $35.38 million. Public-sector projects account for 100% of the total portfolio, as there are no private-sector operations or multinational projects. The share of the active portfolio by sector is as follows: agriculture, 57%; and multi-sector and finance, 37% and 6%, respectively.

Read more: African Development Bank President in São Tomé...

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