AFRICA – The board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) have approved US$115 billion capital injection that will see the pan-African lender capital base jump from US$93 billion to US$208 billion, the largest in the lender’s history.

The President of the AFDB, Akinwunmi Adesina, revealed this in a press conference after in which he spoke of how joyous and proud he was about the achievement. The new capital base is the largest amount the bank has ever recorded.

The decision caps two years of negotiations to give the Abidjan-based bank greater scope to meet the continent’s funding needs. The last increase was agreed in 2010.

The new financing will ensure the bank’s AAA rating, all stable, from rating agencies, the board said.

“This is a joyful day for Africa, a historic day, this will give us greater stability for the future,” said Adesina.

Speaking on the perks that will accompany the increased capital base, Adesina said the additional funds would assist the bank to fund operations in energy, climate, and agricultural projects while supporting infrastructural needs for the success of a continental free-trade zone.

“We will do a lot more. This is a historic moment,” said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said: “the integration of the continent’s priorities into the High 5s indicates that the African Development Bank group is a strategic partner for African governments.”

The AfDB was established in 1964 to foster sustainable economic development and social progress in its member-states, thus contributing to poverty reduction.

AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The institution currently has 80 member countries, including the 54 states of the African continent, and 26 non-African states.  

The AfDB’s shareholders are Africa’s 54 nations and 26 non-African donor countries. Part of its lending to poorer countries is at concessionary rates, largely financed by Western donors.

Each member country appoints a governor to the board whose voting power is proportionate to the amount of capital contributed by the country.

The bank delivers on its mandate of fostering economic growth by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in member-countries. The bank also provides policy advice and technical assistance to boost efforts aimed at development.