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AfDB: Our projects provided 8m people with water, connected 260,000 to electricity

AfDB: Our projects provided 8m people with water, connected 260,000 to electricity
November 23
15:16 2021

The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it played a critical role in supporting millions of Africans affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

This bank stated this in its latest report titled ‘Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) 2021’, released on Tuesday.

The report noted that the pandemic caused fiscal deficits to double and indebtedness to rise sharply, reducing the capacity of African countries to invest in economic recovery.

According to the report, the AfDB responded swiftly with a COVID-19 response facility that provided $3.6 billion in emergency budget support.

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It explained that the funding went into key areas such as health, social protection, and economic assistance, benefitting 12.3 million vulnerable households across 31 countries.

“For instance, in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal the Bank helped to subsidize water and electricity bills for vulnerable households. In Sierra Leone, it supported the training and protection of 11,000 frontline health workers,” the report reads.

“With the Bank’s support, Ethiopia’s daily Covid19 testing capacity quadrupled. And in Morocco, the Bank helped the country upgrade health infrastructure, allowing for efficient patient care.”

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The report said small and micro-enterprises supported by the bank generated revenues of $2 billion, helping them weather the pandemic in 2020.

Through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme, the report also said the bank’s support for food security and agricultural development reached 11 million farmers in 28 countries and avoided $814 million in food imports.

The AfDB report stated that projects funded by the bank in 2020 connected 260,000 people to electricity supply.

“Around 16.4 million people benefited from improvements in agriculture. About 9.2 million people gained access to better transport services, and 8.3 million people benefited from new or improved water and sanitation,” the report adds.

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The report also analysed various aspects of African economies and proposed critical reforms to improve economic gains.

For Africa to participate in global value chains, the report recommended more openness to foreign direct investment, and greater trade liberalisation to lower tariffs on inputs.

“It is also important for countries to identify the products that they are best equipped to integrate into global value chains,” the report further reads.

It added that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gives African countries a structure for developing effective value chains both regionally and globally.

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The report highlighted pharmaceuticals as one sector with new opportunities as the continent imports the majority of pharmaceutical products.

While many African countries are still grappling with the pandemic, Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president, expressed optimism about Africa’s speedy return to growth and prosperity.

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“The African Development Bank’s resolve to support the continent to realize its full potential is stronger than ever, and we look forward to working hand in hand with African countries to help them realize their goals,” Adesina said.

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