In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent global socio-economic crisis, development-financial institutions have been called to take decisive actions to protect millions of lives worldwide and lay the foundations for a fairer, more resilient future.
450 Development Banks came together in a first of its kind, Finance In Common summit, held on the sidelines of the 2020 Paris Peace Forum, to reinforce a broader cooperation and a concerted response to the Covid-19 crisis in fragile countries whose situations have been worsened by the crisis.
The global summit of Public Development Banks was convened by Agencefrancaise de développement, in partnership with the African Development Bank, under the high patronage of French President, Emmanuel Macron, and with the participation of UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
Addressing the plenary session, Dr.AkinwumiAdesina, President of the African Development Bank Group and co-chair of the session, urged the world to come together in an endeavour backed by science, finance and political resolve.
“How we come out of this pandemic, and the speed of our collective recovery, will depend on our shared collective global responsibility, to join hands to mobilize scientific and financial resources backed by strong political will”, Adesina said.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), poised to manage risks and capital requirements adequately to help African countries build their economies back better and faster has carried out various interventions in this regard including a $10 billion Covid-19 Response Facility and a $3 billion Covid-19 social bond.
Through its ‘High 5’ development priorities, the Bank has also boosted its support to fragile states. Dr.Adesina, insists that these priorities which include investing in infrastructure, closing the energy gap by improving access to renewable energy, eradicating poverty, industrialization and job creation are key areas that African countries could focus on in order to help economies across the continent rebound.
To advance Africa’s recovery, the African Development Bank has set as its priority for the post-Covid-19 era, the equipping of the continent with critical resources, through collaborations with multilateral banks, public investment institutions and commercial creditors, to withstand any potential exogenous shocks.
As Africa begins to turn the corner on Covid-19 and governments start to consider policies for building economies back, the novel coalition of Public Development Banks in its bifurcated capacity of realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the Paris Agreement’s objectives is a welcome development, vital in addressing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis in Africa.