The African Development Bank (AfDB) jacked up its funding approvals by 36% in 2011 to $8.5 billion with significant amounts directed towards infrastructure development programmes across the continent.
This was revealed during the AfDB annual meeting held in Arusha, Tanzania, this week.
AfDB treasurer said the largest area of operations in financial terms was infrastructure, accounting for just over 38 percent of loans and grants, followed by multisector loans and grants which came to almost 21 percent of the total. The multisector category covers public sector management, including good governance and anti-corruption programs, industrial import facilitation and export promotion.
The finance sector claimed just over 19 percent of AfDB approvals and covered development banking, commercial banking, non-bank financial intermediation, reinsurance and microfinance funds.
Van Peteghem said infrastructure was one of the four main pillars of the AfDB’s strategy geared towards facilitating development of the African continent. The other three are investing in the private sector, education and promoting good governance.
Van Peteghem highlighted a $23 million Rural Electrification Project in Guinea which is boosting electrification from 3 percent to a target of 20 percent by 2015.
Van Peteghem went on to point out that the $82 million Kazungula Bridge project between Zambia and Botswana will slash the border transit time from 30 hours to just six hours on completion in 2018.
Between 2009 and 2011, he said, 12.5 million people benefitted from new or improved access to water and sanitation. Almost 11 million people enjoyed better access to transport over the same period. Those years saw the construction, maintenance or rehabilitation of 25,000 km of roads and feeder roads.
In the same period, almost 15,000 km of power transmission lines were installed or rehabilitated, and 6.7 million people gained access to electricity.
Van Peteghem said the private sector accounted for 25 projects approved by the AfDB in 2011, or 15 percent of Group approvals. He said over the next 20 to 30 years those projects were expected to raise $3.5 billion in taxes for governments in Africa. They were also expected to create 86,600 permanent and temporary jobs. Another outcome would be credit or business opportunities for 1,160 women-led businesses.
Five of the approvals in 2011 totaling $79 million impacted on higher education, technology and vocational training. Highlights include the $21 million Bamako Digital Complex project in Mali, the Alternative Learning Project in Tanzania with funding of $23 million, and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training project in Eritrea with finance of $18 million.