AFRICA – Ireland has moved a step closer to becoming a member of the African Development Bank Group.

This is after a government delegation from Ireland deposited ratification instruments during an official visit to the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters.

The delegation was led by Paul Ryan, Director, International Finance Division of Ireland’s Department of Finance.

“Africa has been one of our key targets for development cooperation, so joining the Bank gives us the opportunity to work with the continent and share knowledge in areas such as financial technology services, energy and climate change, among others,” Ryan said.

Ireland’s application to join the African Development Bank Group was approved during the Annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the Bank Group in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2019.

Depositing the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Development Fund (ADF) marks an important step in the process, Vice-President for Finance, Bajabulile ‘Swazi’ Tshabalala noted.

“The participation of Ireland will provide many partnership opportunities for Africa’s development, particularly in the Energy, Climate Change and Agri-food sectors,” Tshabalala added.

The Bank’s Secretary-General, Vincent Nmehielle and General Counsel, Godfred Penn welcomed the representatives and received the Instrument of Ratification, a major administrative step in admitting Ireland as a state participant in the African Development Fund.

Ireland’s “Strategy for Africa to 2025” includes a commitment to collaborate with the key financial institution on the continent; as well as to explore new partnerships to support policy development and programme implementation; and deepen engagement in blended finance mechanisms for job creation.

Speaking at the meeting, Nmehielle noted that “Ireland’s participation in the African Development Fund and membership of the African Development Bank will contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development.”

The membership process for joining the Bank Group includes signing the Agreements establishing the Fund and Bank, deposit of the instruments of acceptance/approval of the Fund and the Bank agreements, and the payment of the initial subscriptions to the Fund and capital stock of the Bank.

The rules also require that a non-African country be a state participant in the ADF, the concessionary lending arm of the Bank, before becoming a member of the Bank.

Ireland will become the 81st member of the Bank Group, once the process of joining the Africa- focused multilateral financial institution is finalized.