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The headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) are pictured in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Reuters

AfDB aims to boost infrastructure funding as African growth accelerates

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Africa’s economic growth is set to accelerate to 3.7 percent this year and 4.3 percent next year from 3.1 percent in 2023, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina said on Wednesday, expressing hope that the bank can boost infrastructure investment with help from the International Monetary Fund.

“African economies are experiencing great resilience despite the challenges posed by climate change, geopolitical tensions, global inflation, and rising debt, among others,” Adesina told the annual meeting of the bank.

In the past nine years the bank has invested over 50 billion U.S. dollars in infrastructure projects on the continent, he said.

Adesina said two weeks ago that the¬†International Monetary Fund had approved multilateral banks such as the AfDB lending against the Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) monetary reserves.

SDRs are interest-bearing international reserve assets granted to IMF member countries in proportion to their shareholding.

“If the approved limit of 20 billion U.S. dollars of the SDRs is channeled to multilateral development banks like us, we [the AfDB]can leverage this to deliver at least 80 billion U.S. dollars of new financial support,” Adesina said.

The bank is helping to raise 3.2 billion U.S. dollars for the East Africa standard gauge railway linking Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi, he added.

It is also providing 500 million U.S. dollars towards the development of the Lobito Corridor to connect Zambia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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