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African Development Bank sets all-time record with more than US$7.8 billion disbursements in 2017

African Development Bank sets all-time record with more than US$7.8 billion disbursements in 2017

Let me express my sincere gratitude to our Board of Directors, Management, and staff for their unflinching support during the trying times of 2017. As we look forward to accelerated delivery in 2018, I trust that I can count on your continuing support to transform Africa and African lives through the High 5s.” – Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank

Busan, Korea, 23 May 2018 – The African Development Bank has increased disbursements to support the structural transformation of countries in Africa, according to its Annual Report, released during the bank group’s annual meetings in Busan, Korea.

Bank disbursements reached US$7.81 billion in 2017, a 15% percent increase over 2016 and the highest on record for the Bank. This increase was driven to a large extent by the 42% increase in project loan and grant disbursements which reflect in part improved portfolio management. The Bank approved 249 operations amounting to US$8.93 billion. This was reflected in its core financing, disbursements, operational strategies and portfolio management.

Bank president, Akinwumi Adesina said “this reflected a 56% increase in disbursements for non-sovereign operations. A clear sign of the bank group’s increasing engagement with Africa’s private sector, non-sovereign operations accounted for 38% of African Development Bank approvals, the highest on record.”

While the bank’s net operating income declined between 2014 and 2015, it has turned around rapidly. “The bank group also continued to grow its income. Net operating income increased in 2017 to US$817.69 million, up from US$631.08 million in 2016, a 29.6% increase and the highest since 2009,” Adesina said adding that, “the Bank also consolidated its position as Africa’s leading knowledge institution by taking full leadership responsibility for the publication of its flagship African Economic Outlook.”

The bank is stepping up the pace by focusing on five priorities that are crucial for accelerating Africa’s economic transformation: the “High 5s” include Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

These High 5s guide the bank’s operations to deliver critical development impacts in Africa. For example, once completed, power generation projects approved in 2017 will install 1,400 MW of new renewable energy capacity. Light up and power Africa provided 4.4 million people with electricity while Feed Africa provided 8.5 million people with improved agricultural technologies.

The full Annual Report is available at:


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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.