AfDB keen to support Zim

Zimbabwe is happy with the “tone of discussions” during the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which demonstrated the bank’s determination to support the country, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said last night.

Prof Ncube participated in the meetings, held virtually for the first time in the bank’s history due to Covid-19, as the Governor representing Zimbabwe.

The meetings ran under the theme, “Building Resilience for a post-Covid-19 Africa”.

“I am very pleased with the tone of discussions that took place, which showed commitment to supporting countries such as Zimbabwe. For today, the main issue was the re-election of the President of the Bank Group, Dr (Akinwumi) Adesina.

“He was unanimously elected by the 79 countries that voted. A 100 percent vote from both African and non-African shareholder countries. I cast Zimbabwe’s vote in support of his re-election,” said Prof Ncube.

The AfDB has solidly stood with Zimbabwe since the turn of the millennium when the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank largely shut their doors for the country.

Recently, the AfDB board of directors approved a US$13,7 million grant to finance the Covid-19 response in Zimbabwe. The funds were aimed at providing an immediate lifeline for targeted frontline responders and health personnel and boosting the country’s global health security index in the wake of the pandemic.

Approval for the grant was made on May 13 after a request from Government. The funds, from the African Development Fund 14 Transition Support Facility, were for Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 Response Project, which focused on 15 high-density urban suburbs in Harare, satellite townships and targeted health facilities in other areas.

Dr Adesina, re-elected to a second five-year term is a globally-renowned development economist and a World Food Prize laureate and Sunhak Peace Prize laureate.

He distinguished himself in driving a bold agenda to reform the bank and accelerate Africa’s development.

A former Nigerian minister of Agriculture, Dr Adesina will begin his new term on September 1.

“I am deeply grateful for the collective trust, strong confidence and support of our shareholders for electing me for a second term as

President. It is yet another call for selfless service to Africa and the African Development Bank, to which I will passionately devote myself,” said Dr Adesina after his re-election.

Dr Adesina’s first term focused on the bold new agenda for the bank based on five development priorities known as the High 5s: light up and power Africa; feed Africa; industrialise Africa; integrate Africa; and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

During Dr Adesina’s first term, the AfDB impacted on the lives of 335 million Africans, including 18 million people with access to electricity; 141 million people benefiting from improved agricultural technologies for food security; 15 million people benefiting from access to finance from private investments; 101 million people provided with access to improved transport and 60 million people gaining access to water and sanitation.

Source: The Herald