The European Business Council for Africa

Africa’s gross domestic product has recovered strongly in the last year, but the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing war could pose considerable challenges in the medium term. This is according to the 2022 African Economic Outlook, released by the African Development Bank on Wednesday.

Africa’s gross domestic product grew by an estimated 6.9% in 2021. This is after the continent suffered a pandemic-induced contraction of 1.6% in 2020, says the Bank’s flagship publication.

Rising oil prices and global demand have generally helped improve Africa’s macroeconomic fundamentals, the report found. But growth could decelerate to 4.1% in 2022, and remain stuck there in 2023, because of the lingering pandemic and inflationary pressures caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. Both countries are major grain suppliers to Africa.

The African Development Bank, MASEN and RES4Africa have agreed to join forces on a dedicated solar energy training programme in 2022, to foster the uptake of solar energy in five Sahel countries.

The programme, to be conducted in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, will focus on energy professionals and policy makers from the target countries, and proposes a first stage institutional training course in June- July, followed by a vocational mini-grid focused training course in September-October.

Dr. Daniel Schroth, Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the African Development Bank, announced the move during the RES4Africa Annual Conference and 10th Anniversary(link is external).

The African Development Bank has signed an agreement with Gabinete de Implementação do Projecto Hidroeléctrico de Mphanda Nkuwa, an implementing entity, to provide advisory services for the development of the $4.5 billion 1,500 MW Mphanda Nkuwa Hydro Power Project in Mozambique.

The agreement was signed Tuesday on the side-lines of the Bank’s Annual Meetings, which are taking place in Accra from 23-27 May.

The agreement was signed by Mr Carlos Yum, Director of Gabinete de Implementação do Projecto Hidroeléctrico de Mphanda Nkuwa and Dr. Kevin Kariuki, African Development Bank Vice President for Power, Energy Climate and Green Growth.

The African Development Bank Group’s Board of Directors has approved a $1.5 billion Emergency Food Production Facility to help tackle the global food crisis sparked by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

The funds will help 20 million African farmers produce an extra 38 million metric tons of food to address growing fears of starvation and food insecurity on the continent.

The Bank, which is Africa’s only AAA-rated financial institution, has consistently maintained this credit rating by all major global credit rating agencies.

The emergency food production package comes as the African Development Bank gathers in the Ghanaian capital of Accra for its 2022 Annual Meetings this week. Delegates will take stock of the Bank’s projects, which have impacted the lives of 335 million Africans in the last five years, while looking ahead to new challenges and opportunities.

In the early 2010s, Godelive Ngalula, a trader from Kikwit, the main town of Kwilu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, spent a week to travel the 350 kilometres (km) to Tshikapa in Kasaï Province and 50,000 Congolese francs (about $24.5) on food. A decade later, the situation has changed. “The trip takes only about a day thanks to the better road. Travel costs have dropped from $80 to $20 and I spend only 2,000 Congolese francs, or $1, on food,” she says happily.

Madeleine Mahamba lives in Lukaka in Kasai Province and no longer has the anxious task of collecting drinking water every day. Where she had to walk five km from her village to the Makode spring early every morning, she now has to take only a few steps from home to collect enough water for her needs. “It took us almost two hours to go there and back,” she says. “Now, we no longer have to worry about getting water. We have enough to drink even when we are working in the fields.”

Le Conseil d’administration du Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement a approuvé le 11 mai dernier, à Abidjan, le Document de stratégie-pays pour la période 2022-2026 pour Madagascar, son nouveau cadre d'intervention pour la Grande île.

Les interventions de la Banque pour les cinq prochaines années à Madagascar vont se concentrer sur deux domaines prioritaires : le développement des infrastructures d'énergie et de transports pour soutenir la croissance inclusive, et le soutien à la transformation de l'agriculture et au développement de l'industrie manufacturière.

Le nouveau document a été élaboré dans un cadre participatif comprenant les autorités gouvernementales, le secteur privé, la société civile et les partenaires au développement de Madagascar. La stratégie est alignée sur le Plan émergence de Madagascar dont la vision à long terme est de faire du pays, une économie potentiellement émergente à l’horizon 2030.

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina has urged international development agencies in Africa to rally behind his institution’s efforts to mobilize more resources to help build resilience for sustainable development across Africa.

Adesina told diplomats and international agency representatives at a breakfast meeting in Accra last Thursday that African countries need more resources to fight climate change, to deal with insecurity, debt, and the impact of war in Ukraine. He said funds are also needed to address the massive infrastructure deficit, growing urbanization, and youth unemployment. .

Adesina was on a three-day visit to Ghana ahead of the African Development Bank Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings, due to take place in Accra from the 23rd to 27th of May.

The president of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made a compelling case, on Wednesday, for the United States to back the institution’s $1.5 billion emergency food production plan. The plan seeks to avert a looming food crisis in Africa caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Bank chief, and a panel of witnesses, testified about global food insecurity and persisting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic before the US Senate subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. Among others, senators Chris Coons (Delaware), Lyndsey Graham (South Carolina), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) and Roy Blunt (Missouri) participated in the hearing.

The global economy could increase by more than $140 trillion a year[1], or 1.5 times the annual global GDP, if the objectives of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) are achieved, participants heard during a side-event at the 15th summit of the UNCCD.

Camilla Nordheim-Larsen, Senior Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Coordinator at the UN Convention, noted that action in the land sector has the potential to generate up to $140 trillion a year and create 400 million new jobs, while failure to act can result in losses in the range of $44 trillion. The Sustainable Development Goal for Life on Land is least funded, but can contribute most to resilience, she said, speaking at an event on innovative finance mechanisms for sustainable landscapes, hosted by the African Development Bank and partners.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved two loans amounting to $180 million to co-finance a major energy project that will extend electricity access to rural areas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Rwanda.

This follows the 26 May 2021 approval for $84.2 million from the resources of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the Bank Group, for the same project.

Financing for the Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project comprises $140 million from the African Development Bank sovereign window and a $40 million co-financing from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), as well as resources from the ADF.