China’s economic corporation with Africa is not about to come to an end.
The world’s second largest economy and the African Development Bank on Thursday
May 22 entered into a US $2 billion co-financing fund to be known as the Africa Growing Together Fund (“AGTF”). The resources from the AGTF are expected to be provided over a 10-year period and will be used alongside the AfDB’s own resources to finance eligible sovereign and non-sovereign guaranteed development projects in Africa.
Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group, commented that “the AGTF marks an important milestone in the long-standing relationship between China and the African Development Bank Group in particular and Africa in general.” He added that “the AGTF will operate within the strategic framework, policies and procedures of the AfDB, including its integrated safeguards, thereby leveraging on the AfDB’s strengths.”
Commenting on the agreement, Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, acknowledged the AfDB’s work over the last 50 years, and the great strides it has made in promoting growth and alleviating poverty. He stated that “the AfDB’s rich experience, convening power and strong results-oriented culture made the Bank China’s ideal partner for channeling resources in support of long-term growth and development on the continent.”
Charles Boamah, Vice-President and CFO of the African Development Bank Group, stated that “the AGTF enables an additional US $200 million in more or larger-sized projects annually throughout Africa, on identical terms and conditions as for loans made by the AfDB itself to the same projects. This builds on the success of similar instruments such as the Nigeria Trust Fund, which has been in operation for close to 40 years.” He expressed a hope that this model will be replicated with many more regional as well as non-regional member countries of the AfDB.
Following the signing, the AGTF will be immediately established, and is expected to be used to co-finance some projects before the end of this year.