The five-day meetings, which are scheduled to conclude on Friday, come amid challenging developments, as the world reels from the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and its associated food basket shocks, rising food and energy prices, supply chain disruptions, and the still ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The bank also said that this year’s meetings will take into account Egypt’s hosting of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh this November, as it will highlight Africa’s need for increased investment and other types of financing to accelerate climate adaptation efforts.
Egypt in an AfDB founding member and its second-largest regional shareholder.
Since 1974, the bank group has financed approximately 100 operations valued at $5.7 billion across the infrastructure, energy, and social sectors, mainly through extending loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Around 3,000 delegates and attendees are expected to participate in the meetings, chiefly to discuss key issues concerning the Africa’s development.
On Friday, the AfDB Group’s Board of Directors approved a facility worth $1.5 billion under the bank’s ‘African Emergency Food Production Facility Initiative’, which aims to help African countries avert the ongoing food crisis, as the continent is facing a shortage of at least 30 million metric tonnes of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from Russia and Ukraine.
It also said that the African Emergency Food Production Facility will provide 20 million African smallholder farmers with certified seeds and that it will increase access to agricultural fertilisers, enabling them to rapidly produce 38 million tonnes of food.
“This would be a $12 billion increase in food production in just two years,” according to the Bank.
This year’s meetings will also include a high-level dialogue between AfDB President Akinwumi A. Adesina and the bank’s governors, who represent 54 African and 27 non-regional member countries.
The discussions will focus on how to push forward funding for climate adaptation and related matters in African countries given that current climate adaptation financing for the continent accounts for only 10 percent of global climate finance.
According to the bank’s data, around 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity and 900 million lack access to clean cooking facilities, and most of them live in rural areas.
Moreover, four in every five Africans depend on solid biomass for cooking, which causes an estimated 600,000 deaths per annum due to household air pollution alongside with the challenge of deforestation.
Additionally, energy-sector bottlenecks and recurrent power cuts annually cost the equivalent of two to four percent of Africa’s GDP, hampering job creation, industrialisation, and investment, according to the AfDB.
The AfDB comprises three distinct entities — the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF), and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).
On the ground in 33 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 53 regional member states.