Publish What You Fund, a global campaign with the objective of ensuring development and aid transparency, named the African Development Bank (AfDB) the most transparent organization in the world in its 2022 Aid Transparency Index released on Wednesday, 13 July 2022.
African Development Bank’s Sovereign Portfolio emerged first out of 50 similar development institutions across the globe. The AfDB was the leading bank in the ranking with a score of 98.5. Reacting to the ranking, the president of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said,
“I am excited to see the accolade from Publish What You Fund. It is the outcome of the tireless efforts of the over 2,000 staff in our organization who toil ceaselessly to fast-track Africa’s progress. With commitment and focus, they continue to deliver the best quality under maximum inspection. I am proud of them.”
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina continued to praise Publish What You Fund for their effort. He also highlighted the importance of such analysis in ensuring transparency and effectiveness of aid. Swazi Tshabalala, the senior vice president of AfDB said,
“Seeing this score from an index that assists in the promotion of transparency among international agencies fills me with so much joy. As a bank, we have worked hard over the years to make our aid flows transparent with easily accessible and consistent data.”
African Development Bank (AfDB) broke Aid Transparency Index’s decade-old record
Apart from ranking number one on the Aid Transparency Index, AfDB achieved a score that has never been reached by anyone since the beginning of the ranking a decade ago. In 2020, the African Development Bank was fourth on the log. This shows how much the organization has grown within a short time.
Since 2014, the AfDB score has remained in the ‘very good’ category. Also, the organization has consistently shown commitment to improving transparency including making all its financial transactions open to the public.
Publish What You Fund’s ranking is divided into five categories. ‘Very good’ is the highest ranking on their index. The ranking process considers different criteria including organizational planning and performance, finance and budgets, and primary information data. Gary Foster, the Chief Executive of Publish What You Fund said,
“Congratulations to AfDB’s sovereign portfolio for coming first in the 2022 Aid Transparency Index. They constantly engage to understand the Index’s demands and continue to modify their approach to disclosure with the publication of higher quality and comprehensive data.”
Snippets of energy and infrastructural commitments of AfDB to Africa’s economic growth
The African Development Bank has made its operations open to the public to demonstrate its commitment to accountability. For example, stakeholders in the organization can easily track the Bank’s developmental projects in Africa using the MapAfrica platform. Those that need tailored data can access it through the Project Data Portal.
In a recent speech to the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina emphasized the role of AfDB in supporting growth, stability, and sustainable development in Africa. He also pointed out some of the problems facing the continent at the moment including climate change, debt sustainability, food security, and the financing gap.
Beyond highlighting the problems facing the continent, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina also proffered solutions to some of the problems. This includes increased disaster preparedness, enhancing superior healthcare systems, and investing in infrastructures that will strengthen Africa’s resilience.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is often tagged “Africa’s Optimist-in-Chief” for his visionary leadership and passion to see the continent’s transformation. He was first elected to head African Development Bank in 2015 and was re-elected in 2020.
Under Dr. Adesina, the AfDB achieved a feat never heard of since its establishment in 1964. Below are some of the programs of the African Development Bank.
Approval of $11 million grant for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area
On July 14, 2020, it was announced that the African Development Fund has approved $11.02 million to support the effective implementation of the AfCFTA. This round of support aims at improving intra-Africa trade through effective participation in AfCFTA.
The recent support by the AfDB will come in three phases including strengthening of the AfCFTA Secretariat, the inclusion of the private sector in AfCFTA implementation, and support of a climate-resistant value chain to enhance intra-Africa trade. AfDB’s Industrial Development and Trade Department Director, Abdu Mukhtar said,
“African Development Bank’s relationship with AfCFTA Secretariat is vital for achieving higher continental trade and economic transformation on the continent. The approval of the grant by our Board will ensure the harmonious conduction of trade on the continent.”
Partnership with the Gabonese government for 2023 to 2027 development priorities
The AfDB held a four-day national consultation with the Gabonese government from 20th to 23rd June with regards o the nation’s 2016 to 2022 Country Strategy Paper and Country Diagnostic Note. The consultation was applauded by Souleymane Koné, AfDB’s Central Africa Managing Director.
“The consultation is the first step towards the adoption of the Country Strategy Paper which will scrutinize Gabon’s strategic and priority options at the sectoral and macro-economic levels.”
Through the consultation, the African Development Bank was able to highlight the numerous economic opportunities that abound in Gabon. This includes numerous natural resources, specifically oil, manganese, and gas. Gabon is the fifth largest producer of oil on the continent. The nation also has the second highest manganese deposit in the world.
With the dwindling of oil, the country is looking for ways to diversify its economy. Thus, they are also looking at other export earners including its 22.5 million hectares of forests which blankets 85% of the country.
The AfDB supported the implementation of the 2016 to 2022 Country Strategy Paper which helped the nation to enhance the use of secondary forest species and the entire business environment. Also, African Development Bank’s budget supported Gabon’s fiscal stability.
Fighting food insecurity in South Sudan with $8.1 million agricultural grant
African Development Bank is also at the forefront of fighting food insecurity on the continent. On 16 July 2022, AfDB approved $8.1 million grant for the funding of South Sudan’s Emergency Food Production Programme.
The grant was allocated through the Transition Support Facility for the ongoing Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development (AMVAT). The goal of AMVAT is to lower poverty, food insecurity, and foster resilient and socially cohesive economic growth among communities.
Natural disasters like flooding and the war in Ukraine have increased the threat to food security in the nation. More and more people are queuing up for aid. The AMVAT project will enhance agricultural production and productivity in five of South Sudan’s most affected states.
The problem will be tackled on various fronts including using fertilizers, improved seeds, and extension services for farmers. Echoing this strategy, the AfDB’s Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo said,
“The grant is in support of the continuation of the performing AMVAT project. However, attention will be more on emergency food threats and the disruption of vital farm inputs that are instrumental to food cultivation in South Sudan.
Future expectations from the African Development Bank (AfDB)
Following the disruption of grain export with the heightened Ukraine crisis, the African Development Bank is looking at supporting the implementation of the Emergency Food Production Programme in most vulnerable countries.
In South Sudan, that program has been handed over to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for proper implementation. Apart from food emergencies, AfDB is also funding other infrastructural projects across the continent.
Hopefully, AfDB under the watchful eyes of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina will continue to monitor these programs to ensure they are properly implemented. There is always room for improvement at the industrial development bank.