GHANA – Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has backed calls for more resources for the African Development Bank Group to accelerate its transformative role across the continent.

President Akufo-Addo has expressed strong support for a significant replenishment of the African Development Fund, the African Development Bank Group’s concessional financing arm.

He noted that the work of the Fund has become even more critical in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and most recently, the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Ghanaian president said, “We must all focus on how best we can expand the capital base of the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund to give them a greater significance in terms of being able to raise money on the global bond market.”

He commended Adesina for what he said was his dynamism as the head of the African Development Bank and his advocacy on the global stage for Africa’s development.

Adesina is visiting Ghana ahead of the African Development Bank Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings in Accra from 23-27 May.

The 2022 Annual Meetings also mark the 50th anniversary of the African Development Fund. Since its establishment, the Fund has invested more than US$45 billion in low-income countries and fragile states.

Akufo-Addo said Ghana was excited to host the Bank Group’s forthcoming Annual Meetings, which several African leaders will attend.

According to Adesina, the African Development Bank would make a case for a strong African Development Fund-16 replenishment during the Annual Meetings.

He stressed the importance of allowing the Fund to use its equity to tap the global capital market to leverage a lot more resources for low-income African countries.

Adesina said: “Mr. President, your personal advocacy for this, along with other heads of state and government, will be critical.”

The Bank Group’s active portfolio in Ghana is made up of 18 operations worth a total commitment of US$751.5 million across various sectors. Transport accounts for the largest share of 42% while agriculture amounts to 23%.

Key among Bank-financed projects is the four-tier Pokuase Road interchange, which is part of the multi-component Accra Urban Transport Project. Completed in July 2021, the interchange is the first of its kind in West Africa and the second-largest in Africa.

The local transport union and commuters say that since its completion, the interchange has eased travel time from two hours to 30 minutes.

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