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Kenya advocates for $25 billion replenishment of AfDB

The ongoing 16th replenishment which raised a historic $8.9 billion in December 2022 is set to conclude next year.

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President Ruto with AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina (L)

President William Ruto has intensified his campaign for a substantial replenishment of the African Development Fund, underscoring the transformative impact of the Fund-backed projects in the country.

The Fund is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group.

President Ruto reaffirmed his advocacy during a high-level meeting with Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, at State House, Nairobi on Thursday. Adesina was visiting Kenya to assess preparations for the Bank Group’s 59th Annual Meetings scheduled for the 27th to 31st of May.

He also engaged with media leaders at the AllAfrica Media Leaders’ Summit held in the city.

In his address at the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) meeting in Nairobi last month, President Ruto called for a substantial $25-billion 17th replenishment of the African Development Fund which supports 37 low-income countries across the continent.

The ongoing 16th replenishment which raised a historic $8.9 billion in December 2022 is set to conclude next year.

The Last Mile Connectivity Project has enabled 10 million households get access to electricity

“I will continue to make a strong case for the 17th replenishment of the African Development Fund. Kenya has benefitted from resources made available to us by the Fund,” said President Ruto.

He cited the Last Mile Connectivity project which has expanded from 2.5 million households connected to the national electricity grid in 2013/14 to more than 10 million.

“Kenyans know it is a government project, but they need to know it was financed by the African Development Fund,” President Ruto pointed out. “It is making a difference in people’s lives, and we want to invest more to add momentum.”

The Last Mile Connectivity Project has enabled 10 million households to get access to electricity, improve their living conditions and increase their income.

The discussions between the two leaders included increased investments in other crucial sectors like agriculture, a top priority for the Kenyan government due to its potential for rapid transformation.

President Ruto also emphasised the need for clean water provision and praised the African Development Bank-funded Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation program for its positive impact on millions of people.

Adesina reiterated the Bank’s commitment to collaborate with the Kenyan government in de-risking lending to agriculture through instruments like partial risk guarantees and credit guarantees. He highlighted their successful implementation in several other countries.

“We have used partial credit guarantees to support the issuance of $500 million Panda bond by Egypt. We also used this tool to de-risk a EUR 350 million sustainable development loan for Benin. We did the same for Côte d’Ivoire to support the mobilisation of EUR 533 million in financing for strategic environmental, social and governance projects,” said the Bank Group president.

Ethiopia expanded the cultivated wheat area from less than 5,000 hectares in 2018 to about 2 million hectares in 2024. It has become self-sufficient and a net exporter of wheat in just about four years.

Adesina said Kenya has potential to replicate Ethiopia’s success after deploying the Bank’s flagship Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT). Ethiopia expanded the cultivated wheat area from less than 5,000 hectares in 2018 to about 2 million hectares in 2024. It has become self-sufficient and a net exporter of wheat in just about four years.

The two leaders stressed the urgency of reforming the global financial architecture to address challenges such as climate change that are particularly affecting Africa.

President Ruto who was accompanied by among others, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Economic Planning Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, highlighted Kenya’s recent adverse experiences caused by extreme weather patterns.

“A year ago, we had drought that killed nearly 2.5 million livestock. Our economy lost $1.5 billion,” said Ruto. “Early this month, we experienced devastating floods that have claimed lives, swept away roads, schools and hospitals.”

Adesina expressed condolences to the President and the people of Kenya following the deaths and destruction caused by the floods.

African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina informed Kenyan President William Ruto that the Group’s Climate Action Window targeting Africa’s low-income countries is working to mobilise between $7 billion to $13 billion for climate adaptation.

The Bank Group president said because of the significant climate finance gap in Africa, the African Development Fund established a Climate Action Window under its 16th replenishment cycle. “This is the only concessional finance institution to create a window dedicated to climate financing,” Adesina said.

The initiative was established with an initial $429 million and is working to mobilise between $7 billion to $13 billion to support countries in times of emergency, climate adaptation and reduce the risk of debt distress due to climate investments.

He thanked President William Ruto and his government for their commitment to host the Bank Group’s 59th Annual Meetings from 27 to 31 May at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

Adesina was accompanied by the Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Professor Kevin Urama, the Secretary General Professor Vincent Nmehielle, Executive Director for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda Jonathan Nzayikorera and East Africa Regional Director General Nnenna Nwabufo, among others.

 

 

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