President charges AfDB governors to help drive continental growth, devt

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the bank to drive the growth and development on the continent.

He said the challenge the multilateral bank was facing could be surmounted if the governors of the bank would demonstrate the right attitude towards finding workable solutions for implementation.

“Some problems are solved because people are determined and prepared to cooperate to solve them and these problems are difficult when the attitude to solve them is not there,” he said.

The President made these remarks when the governing board of AfDB, the highest decision-making body of the bank, called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.

According to him, the bank could become the first institution to multilateral financing on the continent if governors would work together towards the goal of strengthening the bank.  

When given the backing, he said the AfDB could take the frontline in providing grants and concessional financing on the continent, with institutions such as the World Bank taking the supportive role.

President Akufo-Addo stressed the need for the bank to help make the African economy resilient, adding that stability in the world would not be enhanced if hundreds of millions of Africans lived in poverty.

The President further underscored the need for the bank to support private sector initiatives and enterprises to enable it create jobs and support the growth of the continent.

The Assistant Secretary, International Trade and Development at the United States Department of Treasury, Alexia Latortue, who was part of the delegation, said the bank had become a leader in adaptation of climate change and food security on the continent.

On calls on the AfDB to raise funds on the international capital market, she said the bank would risk its ability to give grants and concessional loans to its members.

“AfDB has a very precious source of financing which is grants and highly concessional lending. Our first priority is to make sure that any potential market borrowing does not reduce the level of grants and concessional financing available to countries,” she said.

According to her, 18 out of the 37 members were high-risk debt distressed countries and added that raising debt instruments on the international market would perpetuate debt challenges for the countries.

“If AfDB goes to the market, it needs to find a way to buy time and interest so that it can still provide financing to countries on grants or non-concessional terms,” she said.

BY YAW KYEI

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