Curtain falls on successful 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank in Korea

The 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank drew to a close on Friday, May 25 in Busan, Korea, in an atmosphere of marked all-round satisfaction, especially at the decision of the Board of Governors to authorize the opening of consultations with a view to a general increase in the Bank’s capital.

Following its third and final session on Friday, the Board of Governors commended the Bank’s performance in 2017, which had recorded approvals of US $8.7 billion and over $7 billion of disbursements, results never before achieved since its creation in 1964.

“We, as Governors, here in Busan, note the increase in disbursements in 2017, the highest in the Bank’s history. In this regard, we commend the Bank’s achievements and encourage it to do more in terms of efficiency and impact on development,” emphasized the final communiqué of the meeting.

Thanks to its good performance, the Bank was able to increase its net revenue. Its prudent management of financial and operational risks allowed it to allocate a volume to reserves unprecedented in its history. It also helpd the Bank to maintain its AAA rating with the major global rating agencies.

The Bank’s 80 Governors, who represent the 80 member countries of the African Development Bank Group, both regional and non-regional, also underscored the need for a strong and financially viable African Development Bank – one that is efficient, effective, responsible and results-oriented.

They also authorized the Governors’ Consultative Committee to open discussions on the general capital increase, the purpose of which was to allow the Bank to respond to the financing needs of its regional member countries and achieve its development objectives.

For the Governors, this capital increase should be preceded by the presentation of “a well-targeted strategic report on the role of the Bank Group in the context of the global development architecture and an evaluation of reforms to enhance the Bank’s capacity to achieve its objectives.”

External financing and internal resources

The debates in the 53rd Annual Meetings also highlighted the need to associate the search for external financing with mobilization of internal resources, notably through more effective management of public finances and a relentless campaign to combat illicit financial flows out of the African continent

The Governors welcomed, in this regard, “the efforts deployed by the Bank to encourage reforms of financial regulation so as to attract institutional investments and mobilize global financing in favour of Africa through the Africa Investment Forum(link is external)” to be held November 7 to 9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The 53rd Annual Meetings officially opened on May 23, in the presence of the Rwandan Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente, whose country holds the Presidency of the African Union, his Moroccan counterpart Saadine Othmani and the Deputy Mayor of Busan, Jae Min Park. The meetings provided a forum for discussion on “Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization.”

The Governors also urged “the Bank to continue, with other development partners, in the pursuit of new ideas to develop, finance and accelerate Africa’s economic transformation.”

In Busan, the Annual Meetings were an opportunity to celebrate the partnership which unites Korea and Africa, through the bilateral Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Conference (KOAFEC) under the co-chairmanship of the Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance, Dong Yeon Kim, the outgoing President of the Board of Governors of the Bank, and Adesina Akinwumi, President of the African Development Bank.

Good-bye, Busan. Hello, Malabo.

On the occasion, Korea announced the establishment of an envelope of US $5 billion to finance various cooperation projects with Africa, notably in the fields of knowledge development, capacity-building, energy and human resources.

“These Annual Meetings have been an enormous collective success. Thanks to everyone, and especially our Korean hosts, we have been able to work in ideal conditions to arrive at this excellent conclusion,” Akinwumi Adesina said in the closing ceremony.

“Governors, ladies and gentlemen, Bank shareholders, we have listened to you. We have taken note of your expectations and we rejoice in your support. Rest assured that both I myself, the Senior Management and all the staff will spare no effort to pursue the economic transformation of Africa and the well-being of its people,” he added.

For his part, the Governor for Equatorial Guinea, Lucas Abaga Nchama, the new President of the Board of Governors, whose country will host the next round of the Meetings, promised that the 2019 Annual Meetings in Malabo, the country’s capital, would be just as fruitful.

“I urge as many of you as possible to come to Equatorial Guinea next year. You will find a warm welcome and a working environment which will allow us to have highly fruitful deliberations. Rest assured that my country will live up to the confidence that you have placed in it by choosing it to host the 54th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank.”


RELATED: 5 takeaways from African Development Bank’s 53rd Annual Meetings