The African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, met with Swedish officials, in Stockholm, in the second leg of his three-country Nordic visit. In the different meetings, President Adesina thanked Sweden for its support to the African Development Bank (ADB) and the African Development Fund (ADF), and called for its continued support to the 14th ADF replenishment. Sweden joined the ADF in 1973 and the AfDB in 1982. It contributes to several trust funds in the Bank, such as the Agriculture Fast Track Fund, the Governance Trust Fund and the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Sweden was the 8th largest contributor to the ADF 13th replenishment with an USD 293 million contribution.
In Stockholm, President Adesina met with the State Secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bank Governor for Sweden, Ulrika Modéer; the Swedish Minister of Finance, Magdalena Andersson; Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, the Director General of the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida); and the federation of Swedish businesses.
In all the meetings, the officials appreciated the co-operation between the institution and Sweden. They also commended the President for his bold vision for Africa’s development and reiterated their strong support for the work of the African Development Bank. They reaffirmed their commitment to working closely with President Adesina in achieving the High 5 priorities: Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
President Adesina commended Sweden for being one of the few OECD countries that have maintained their development aid above 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI). Adesina briefly explained the Bank’s High 5 priorities and the Bank’s recently approved Business Delivery and Development Model. He further explained that the Bank was realigning itself to be closer to its clients in order to deliver faster and at scale.
Adesina stressed that fact although African economies were facing some headwinds, they remain resilient with the forecast 2016 growth rate at 3.6%, above the 3.2% global growth rate, 2.2% in the USA and 1.9% in the Eurozone. This makes Africa the second fastest growing region in the world, just after Asia. FDI inflows in Africa in 2015 also stood at USD 53 billion.
In addition to the above, the Swedish officials also discussed the rising debt levels in Africa and the importance of domestic resource mobilization in Africa. They also all indicated that Sweden was attaching a very high importance on renewable energy, in line with the 2030 Global Development Agenda and the COP21 agreement. Finally, they underscored Sweden’s emphasis on women’s empowerment. The Bank and Sida will also explore ways to collaborate on guarantees.
President Adesina concluded the meetings by indicating that the Bank will explore ways of deepening its co-operation with Sweden, and particularly with Swedish enterprises, through various financial instruments such as co-financing. He also discussed some of the Bank’s initiatives such as Africa50, Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) and Jobs for Youth in Africa, which was announced at the Bank’s 2016 Annual Meetings in Lusaka, Zambia.