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African Development Bank seeks to treble its funding

The head of the African Development Bank said Thursday he is in negotiations with shareholders to treble its capital reserves to around 100 billion dollars.

"It's reasonable and desirable," said Donald Kaberuka. "We need such a substantial increase. We are negotiating with the shareholders," which are its member states, both within and outside Africa.

The last injection of capital dates back to 1997, with Kaberuka underlining that its current reserves amount to some 35 billion dollars (25 billion euros).

The next influx was planned for 2013, but Kaberuka told a press conference that "with the (global economic) crisis, with the means at states' disposition, we need it sooner."

"Things will be negotiated (particularly with non-African members including the United States) over the coming months."

Kaberuka added that fresh investment into the AfDB's African Development Fund vehicle, aimed at its poorest members, was equally important.

The last raise in that branch's funding was a 50 percent increase in 2007.

The African Development Bank warned Tuesday that per capita income in Africa will fall in 2009 for the first time in 15 years, amid a series of grim assessments for the world's poorest continent.

Revised forecasts for May show a continent-wide growth rate for 2009 of 2.3 percent, down from February forecasts of 2.8 percent growth, according to a joint AfDB and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report.

The figure for 2008 was 5.7 percent.

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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:May 14, 2009
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