Africa Received US$7.6 billion Development Financing from Arab Coordination Group in 2014

The African continent received US$7.6 Billion as development financing from the group of ten Arab Donors known as the Coordination Group (CG) during 2014. This was disclosed at a seminar on the “Role of the Coordination Group in the Development of Africa” held last week in Maputo, Mozambique in conjunction with the 40th Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group.

H.E. Adriano Maleiane, Minister of Economy and Finance, Mozambique, opened the Seminar and highlighted Mozambique’s national plan for socio-economic development. He recalled the contribution made by the CG, which so far provided development financing of US$800 million to Mozambique. The Minister further added that the seminar provides an opportunity for African policy makers to better understand support extended by the CG.

Mr. Abdelaziz Khelef, Director General, the Arab Bank for Economic and Social Development in Africa (BADEA) presented the role of his organization in the development of Africa. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) in their intervention called for addressing the growing energy needs of Africa. Mr. Amadou Boubacar Cissé, the Senior Minister of Planning, Niger, presented the case for economic transformation around Trans-African Highway. Three successful projects co-financed by the CG
in Africa were presented by other beneficiary countries.

In his statement, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President, IDB Group, mentioned that development financing extended to Africa has reached US$33 billion in the last 40 years. Dr. Ahmad Ali told the participants that since its inception, IDB has been providing development assistance to Africa. The first project approved by the Bank was the Song Loulou Hydro-electric Dam project in Cameroon in October 1976 for US$7 million.

The IDB Group has financed a number of flagship programs for the development of Africa including the Special Program for Development of Africa (SPDA) which was implemented during 2008-2012 with an investment of US$12 billion, to which the IDB Group contributed US$5 billion. The SPDA was a follow up to the successful implementation of the Ouagadougou Declaration implemented during 2002-2007.

Despite the efforts of the African countries and financing provided by the development partners, the African continent continues to face a number of challenges, particularly high poverty rate and low GDP per capita. Huge financing gap hinders much needed development of infrastructure in Africa. Dr. Ali further added that other challenges facing the continent include the vulnerable health sector particularly with the recent challenges of Ebola as well as security concerns in a number of
countries. He assured the participants that IDB is ready to contribute towards addressing the challenges facing the continent and will support implementation of new Sustainable Development Goals.

The Seminar was attended by over 120 participants including Heads of the Coordination Group Institutions, local dignitaries, IDB Governors and the Executive Directors, delegates from IDB member countries, and representatives of international/regional organizations.