The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, yesterday said the bank would lend $500 million to women this year.
He added that the bank also paid out $483 million to financial institutions to lend to women businesses in 2021.
Adesina in a statement he posted on his verified Twitter handle, @akin_adesina, added that with the support of French President, Mr. Emmanuel Macron and the G-7, the AfDB’s Affirmative Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) was raising $5 billion for women businesses.
Adesina’s remarks came as the bank commences its Annual Meetings for 2022.
He said the board had approved a crisis response facility of up to $10 billion based on rigorous risk assessments when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, adding that it launched a $3 billion COVID-19 social bond on the global capital markets, the highest ever US dollar denominated social bond in world history.
He said, “Our rapid COVID-19 response facility helped towards stabilising African economies. It trained 130,000 health workers. It provided social protection for about 30 million vulnerable households. It provided advisory support for 300,000 small and medium sized businesses.”
He stated that to tackle the food crisis arising from the Russian-Ukraine crisis, the AfDB board last week approved a $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility to support 20 million farmers to produce 38 million metric tons of food.
He also said in a bid to help Africa adapt to climate change, the bank is partnering globally with the Global Center on Adaptation, and with former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to mobilize $25 billion in support of Africa.
Adesina said, “The African Development Bank was ranked by Global Finance as the Best multilateral financial institution in the world in 2021. The African Development Fund was ranked by CGD as second best in the world, ahead of all 28 concessional financing institutions in developed countries.
“We are a AAA-rated financial institution, the only one in Africa. We have consistently maintained our stellar AAA credit ratings by all major global credit rating agencies, who consistently praise our excellent risk management at the bank.
“We have an excellent and robust management and governance system. We deliver great value for our clients in Africa. Over the past six years, through our High five programmes, our work has impacted on 335 million people. We deliver great value.”
The AfDB president also tweeted that independently conducted survey by a global HR firm found 85 per cent of staff are happy with the bank, an exceptionally high level for any institution globally, adding that despite COVID-19 and challenges of working from home, 97 per cent of staff were pleased wit provided by the bank.
He said, “IT services support Our achievements, exceptional management, good governance systems, and delivery of the Bank cannot be denied or misrepresented based on externally fabricated lies, distortions, misinformation, and deliberately orchestrated campaign of calumny to attempt to tarnish our image.
“We will tell our story. We will not be defined by mischief makers, lies and biases. We are proudly African. We will continue to make Africa proud as Africa’s only AAA financial institution rated.
“As we start the Bank’s Annual Meetings for 2022, I wish to commend the Board of Governors, Board of Directors, Management and all the hard-working staff of the Bank for their relentless work.
“I thank all our 81 shareholder countries for their incredible confidence and support.”