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Kaberuka is currently a Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. At CGD he will be working on finance and development issues, including serving as a member of our High-Level Panel on Multilateral Banking, which will issue its report in the coming months.
The African Development Bank almost wasn’t. Twenty years ago, the Bank lost its crucial AAA credit rating and its future was very much in doubt. Yet now it is held up as one of the largest sources of infrastructure finance for the region, a multilateral financing institution owned by 53 African and 25 non-regional governments, akin to a regional World Bank.
The African Development Bank is an amazing turnaround story. The regional development bank was close to shutting down after losing its AAA credit rating in 1995 and, worse, squandering the confidence of its shareholders.
The African Development Bank estimates that illicit financial flows have drained in excess of a trillion dollars from Africa since 1980. These flows undermine the tax base, damage political institutions and exacerbate inequality. With major momentum behind global counter-measures, there are clear opportunities for progress at the regional level – including through stronger information exchange and cooperation, tax base harmonization and innovative uses of trade data.
Donald Kaberuka, the President of the African Development Bank and the leading voice for forward-leaning economic policy on the continent, has come out publicly in favor of paying some portion of natural resource windfalls as a direct dividend to citizens. We’re pretty excited about this policy idea at CGD, and have been thinking through some of the pros, cons, and practicalities of what we call Oil-to-Cash. Watch this space for our Oil-to-Cash book later in 2014.