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Today in Abidjan, the Governors of the AfDB approved the plan for a capital increase. This is part of a coordinated global effort to increase the resources for the regional development banks in response to the accelerated lending during the financial crisis. But today’s nod is also a serious vote of confidence in the direction of the AfDB under Donald Kaberuka.
Earlier this month, I released my report card on the AfDB’s progress (read the brief here or listen to the podcast here) in fulfilling the recommendations made by the CGD working group. I gave the Bank management positive grades for articulating strategic focus on growth, shifting the portfolio toward infrastructure, and being an assertive voice for the continent on key global issues. But I graded the shareholders with “F” and two “incompletes” for failing to lighten the board, cut the laundry list of directives, or resolve the headquarters location.
While the working group did not make any specific recommendations for providing more resources, the general capital increase (assuming the legislatures of the individual shareholders also go along) will enable the Bank to maintain its current trajectory in helping to meet Africa’s growing demand for infrastructure and finance for the private sector. Now, if they can only have a frank discussion on the headquarters…
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.