African Development Bank (AfDB) President Donald Kaberuka (main picture) will arrive in Tanzania this weekend for the visit by US President Barack Obama, which will partly focus on an initiative to foster economic growth and development in Africa through increased access to reliable, affordable and sustainable power in Africa.
The initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership involving the United States, the African Development Bank and six African countries. It will increase available electricity access, raise cross-border energy trade and promote efficient management of energy resources. The July 1-2 Tanzania visit is the last stop on Mr Obama’s 3-nation Africa tour.
The AfDB has committed more than $1.63 billion in energy infrastructure funding to the six countries involved in the initiative over the past five years, including $1.4 billion under the African Development Fund (ADF) – its concessionary lending window to low income countries. The US is a significant contributor to the ADF, which is going through its 13th replenishment.
The Bank is at the forefront of a campaign by African governments and institutions to grow the continent’s economies through the scaling of infrastructure – including roads, railways, air links and technology. He sees growth anchored in better governance and fair and transparent taxation of Africa’s natural resources, as well as public-private sector partnerships (PPPs).
“This continent pays dearly for deficiencies in infrastructure, including in the energy sector. Drawing now on resources from the public and the private sector, at home and abroad, it can derive immense dividends,” Dr Kaberuka said ahead of the visit.
“Last month, the African Development Bank unveiled plans for the new ‘Africa50Fund’, a big and bold solution designed to help fill the funding gaps in Africa’s transport, power, water and communications systems. The Bank is committed to partnering regional members to ensure they stay on a path of sustained growth.”
During the visit, Dr Kaberuka will speak to the AfDB’s support of improved governance in the extractives sector through its African Legal Support Facility, helps regional member countries to negotiate extractive resource contracts to create an appropriate, enabling environment with modern legal and regulatory frameworks.