Introduction by His Excellency Serge Mombouli, Ambassador of the Republic ofCongo to the United States.Your Excellencies,ExcellencesLadies and Gentlemen,Dear Friends from the African Development Bank,It is my distinguished privilege and honor to introduce to you, Dr Akinwumi AyodejiAdesina, the President of the African Development Bank Group.
Parce que je suis ici à Washington DC, à l’Ambassade de la République du Congo,je dois commencer quand même en vous félicitant pour cette belle chancellerie quevous avez ici.Merci beaucoup pour l’accueil très chaleureux, et comme vous le savez, moi aussi jesuis congolais.Merci beaucoup, Excellence. Thank you very much Your Excellency.Good morning to you all. I am really delighted to be here with you. I know you arebusy people but thank you for making the time for this conversation this morning.I am joined here by a special guest of mine, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki. You may want tostand Ibrahim.Dr Mayaki is one of our former leaders in Africa. He was former Prime Minister inNiger, which is my other country.
You know, I got my PhD – my Masters and PhD – here in the United States from1983 to 1988, but I did my research, my field research in Niger Republic.
And so,when former President Mahamadou Issoufou was talking to President Buhari inNigeria one day, the Nigerian president said: "I would like to introduce to you DrAdesina, a very distinguished Nigerian." President Issoufou said: "No, no no, he’s not from Nigeria, he’s actually from Niger.” The only thing he did was take “Niger” and add on the letters ‘ia’ at the end." So, thank you very much Your Excellency, Dr Mayaki, for coming.
Excellencies, Ambassadors, Heads of diplomatic agencies,My dear friends and colleagues from the African Development Bank,Ladies and gentlemen.
It’s such a great honor to have you all here present this morning for an engagementsession on our beloved continent, Africa.We all have a pulse for Africa. That’s most important.
And I can’t think of a better way as an African to live as an African, to die as anAfricanand on the resurrection morning, I will tell God, give me at least a chance to rise asan African.I have great admiration for the African diplomatic corps here in the United States –your good selves.You represent your nations.
You also represent our continent. A very powerful voicefor our Africa in the most powerful nation in the world.I would like to thank you for all the work that you have done over the years.There is much that can be said about this group helped influence the US President’sEmergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); its role in the creation of the MillenniumChallenge Account; in the creation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA); and the list goes on and on.When I was talking earlier with his Excellency, the Dean, he said, " You know, this is a very powerful group,” I said, "Yes. I know”. And we feel it, we feel the way you represent us here, the voice, the clarity, and the resilience of your support. It’s verywell appreciated your Excellencies.
I’d like to specially thank my dear brother, His Excellency Serge Mombouli, theAmbassador of the Republic of Congo and the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corpsfor organizing this event.I’m most grateful to you, Your Excellency, for your friendship. Thank you very muchfor your trust. Thank you for your confidence, thank you for always being there,supporting me relentlessly, especially as I passed through some difficult times lastyear.
They say - if you want to really know your friends, you only know when you havechallenges. And you, dear friend, I very much appreciate. You never stopped callingme every single day, throughout the year: "How are you doing? How is our continentdoing? How is the Bank doing? We assure you of our support." And I want to thankyou, most sincerely, Your Excellency, for being such a true and dear friend. I ammost grateful.
But he was not alone. The entire African Diplomatic Corps stood by me.Your faith, your confidence, your indefatigable support from all your countries thatyou represent and your voice right here in the United States mattered a lot, and itencouraged me and inspired me a great deal.
Nothing, Your Excellencies, is more important to me than to be entrusted with amission and a responsibility to transform, as fast as we can, the continent of mybirth, of your birth, our beautiful African continent.
I wish to assure you that serving Africa and relentlessly accelerating its developmentis my most important mission, working closely with all our shareholders.I am pleased that thanks to your support and the support of all our shareholders, Iwas re-elected as President of the African Development Bank with 100 percent ofthe vote. All our shareholders were on board — regional and non-regional — whichis historic.
I can’t but thank you. I feel so humbled by this because it is the first time this hashappened since the African Development Bank was established in 1964.They say to whom much is given, much is also expected.
My team at the Bank, and some of them have joined me here today, and myself, withthe strong support of the Board of Directors and the Board of Governors of the Bank,have continued to push relentlessly to deliver more and better for Africa.
In 2021, the African Development Bank was named by Global Finance, theprestigious US financial magazine, as the best multilateral financial institution in theworld for 2021.
Also in 2021, the Center for Global Development ranked the African DevelopmentFund — which is the concessionary institution of the Bank – as the second-bestinstitution in the world, among all the largest global bilateral and multilateralconcessional financing institutions. This includes all 49 in all the developedcountries.
Your Excellencies,We are a responsive bank. We are a solutions bank at the heart of Africa’sdevelopment.At the core of our work as a multilateral development bank, there is a very clearstrategy to fast-track Africa’s development.
It is simply called the High 5s. You can do this — I would like to see your handsraised in a high five.The High 5s are to Light up and Power Africa, to Feed Africa, to Industrialize Africa,to Integrate Africa, and to Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.
Now, you know, they sound quite simple. But they are rapidly changing the face ofAfrica today.
The United Nations Development Program assessment shows that if Africa achievedthese High 5s, it would have achieved 90% of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Itwould also have achieved 90% of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. So, youcan see that we work very closely with the African Union.
That is why I’m so happy that Her Excellency is here from the African Union Commission, as is my dearbrother Dr Mayaki, whom I have worked with for decades.We are together, driving Africa’s accelerated development.The results, Your Excellencies, speak for themselves.
In the past five years, the work of the African Development Bank High 5s hasimpacted directly on 335 million people – just in five years.Take, for example, the following stats: 21 million people who gained access to electricity. 76 million people gained access to agricultural technologies to ensure theirfood security. 12 million people gained access to finance through the investee companiesthat we invested in.
69 million people benefitted from improved transport, and a lot of the work thatwe did was done in collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa’sDevelopment (NEPAD) because we did our projects together as part of thepresidential initiatives on developing infrastructure for Africa.
And 50 million people benefitted from improved water and sanitation. That isthe kind of scale on which we work. And my staff will tell you that when peopletell me anything about Africa, I say: I don’t want Mickey Mouse projects. Idon’t want little things. Africa must dream big, do big stuff. The founders ofthis Bank had a vision, for it to be the premier financial institution.
It is not about managing poverty on the continent. It is making sure the continentthrives and becomes a developed continent with pride.
Nothing makes me happier and of course prouder than hearing testimonies of ourwork; how it has touched the lives of people; stories of lives transformed.You saw some of those right there on the video that we played a few minutes ago.One of those stories was the case of an elderly lady named Grace.
My wife’s name is Grace, so it was very good for me to see her. This was in Kenya where we had a project, which is called the Last-Mile Connectivity Project. Its goal is to connect 1.2 million households to electricity.
The problem was that the cost of connection was so high, that even though peoplehad access to electricity, and Kenya through our support had reached about 75% interms of access to electricity, there were still many households that could notconnect to it because they were just poor.
So, we put together a program together with the Kenyan government, working withPresident Kenyatta – a fantastic program. And I came to see this in the rift valley ofKenya. I was right in front of this lady as our helicopter touched down. She wastalking to the minister of energy for Kenya, and the minister said: "Well, maybe you should thank Dr Adesina because he is the President of the African DevelopmentBank, whose resources made access to electricity for you possible. And she said:"Oh, I don’t know about the African Development Bank. I don’t know Dr Adesina.
All I know is this: we once were in darkness but now we have electricity."Her statement inspired my colleagues and me.
That is what we do every single day. We make a difference, especially when itmatters most, impacting the very lives of ordinary people that we are there to serve.Your Excellencies, we will now be able to do more with the general capital increasethat was provided to the African Development Bank by our shareholders in 2019.
I remember very well the advocacy of the African Diplomatic Corps right here, led byhis Excellency, the Dean, Ambassador Mombouli, and all of you. You advocated withthe US government, emphasizing the importance of increasing the general capital forthe Bank.
The shareholders raised the general capital of the Bank from $93 billion to $208billion dollars – the largest capital increase ever in the history of the AfricanDevelopment Bank.
I would like to thank you most sincerely and immensely for this advocacy and forreaching out to the US government as you did, which provided tremendous support.As excited as I am at the incredible progress that we have made, I know there is stilla lot to do.
And things just got tougher with the Covid-19 pandemic. Africa witnessed theslowest growth rate in two decades, as GDP growth declined to minus 2.1%. Africa’sGDP itself declined by $145 billion to $190 billion in gross value of GDP. Fiscaldeficits rose significantly.
And most important is what happened to people’s lives: 30million people fell into poverty and another 30 million people lost their jobs andlivelihoods. And worse, five million Africans were infected with the coronavirus.Sadly, we lost 200,000 of them.
To support countries to cope with the health-induced fiscal shocks, the AfricanDevelopment Bank moved very rapidly. The Bank launched a $10 billion crisisresponse facility to provide fiscal support to countries immediately.We also got bolder. We went to the international capital markets to launch a $3billion fight covid-19 social bond, which is the largest social bond denominated in USDollars ever done in world history.
But I am also grateful to God, that African countries despite all the challenges, aredemonstrating resilience. I am a person of faith who believes that you can do thebest you can, but God is the one that helps you to really get things done.
And I am grateful that Africa has been spared from the projections that we thoughtwere going to happen. I lost a lot of sleep.GDP growth rate is rebounding to 3.4% this year. And you will see, there iseconomic recovery across the board – for oil exporting countries, for tourism-dependent countries, for commodity-export-dependent countries, as well as for thosecountries that are not dependent on any commodities. Across the board, we projectthat there is going to be significant recovery.However, Your Excellencies, the pace of that recovery will depend on two criticalissues.First, the level of vaccinations that Africa receives, and second, how we tackle thecontinent’s rising debt levels.Let me start with the first one, on the issue of vaccinations. Today, Africa has onlyfully vaccinated 24 million people. That is only about 2% of the continent’spopulation. We have 4.4% of the population receiving one dose, and 1.8 % of thepopulation receiving the second dose. Compare this respectively to 70% in Europe,and 56% right here where you are, in the United States.So, while developed countries are moving into booster shots, Africa is struggling tojust get basic shots.One of my staff members is here and that she will remain nameless, but she hasbeen an inspiration for the last couple of days. I shouldn’t really indicate gender, lestpeople here figure out who I’m talking about.But this staff member of mine believes that the Bank being a triple-A financialinstitution, it must also be triple-A when it comes to vaccinations. And so, she hastaken Pfizer, she has taken Johnson & Johnson, she has taken AstraZeneca. Andevery time we talk to her, we find that she has taken another upgrade.But the reality is, you can do that here, but in Africa, with the paucity of vaccines, youcan’t.Progress, however, is being made albeit slowly, by Covax. So far, Covax, which isthe facility that was set up to provide vaccines globally to developing countries, hasdelivered 71 million doses, out of the 600 million doses that were supposed to beproduced and delivered to Africa.I would like to commend the African Union on the leadership of my dear brother, HisExcellency Moussa Faki. I also salute the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa,who brought Africa together with an Africa vaccine acquisition program of the AfricanUnion.
And so far, they’ve been able to deliver 4.3 million doses to 29 countries. Progressagain is going to be much faster. We expect 45 million doses to be delivered by theend of the year.But the question to ask is, why is this the case?Is it because the developed countries have bought all the vaccines? Not only currentvaccines, but future vaccines. The problem is also that those manufacturing thevaccines face export restrictions. So, they couldn’t export the vaccines becauseeverybody has been trying to do vaccine nationalism.Your Excellencies, Africa must learn some critical lessons from this experience.Africa cannot, and Africa must not, outsource the health security of its 1.3 billionpeople to the generosity and the benevolence of others.Africa must ensure health security for its people, and I will say that we must look athealth, from the perspective of a healthcare defense system.Today, the coronavirus is just a single virus, and you can see what a disaster it hascreated all over the world. Another one will come. Yes, another one will come, butwe cannot be in this situation where we are not able to respond, or where we are thelast to be able to get access to vaccines.Today, you cannot travel out of Africa to many places because of vaccine passports.And because African lags on this, it means that it will affect tourism. It will affectforeign direct investment, it will affect confidence in the continent, and make it moredifficult for the recovery process to happen.I want to thank the US government – President Biden – for the donations of vaccinesthat he has made, which is very laudable, by himself and the G7, but we must nowdo three things.First, we must develop Africa’s indigenous, pharmaceutical capacity, its industrialmanufacturing capacity. Right now, Africa imports more than 80% of all thepharmaceutical products that we use on the continent.Why? There’s no reason for that. We are just simply depending on others. That’s notto say, my neighbor may love me to death. But my neighbor is not going to send mykids to school. I must take care of business.Secondly, is we must develop Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity on ourcontinent, not only for Covid-19, but also for other things that will happen, post-Covid-19.And finally, we must revamp Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure.Let me tell you why this is very important for me because it’s personal. I lost my olderbrother in 1999, at a very young age and all he had, was Malaria. That was all. Hewent to a clinic, and they said he was running a fever, so they had to give him an
intravenous (IV) injection, a small IV. And within five seconds of receiving it, he wasdead.Why? Because they found out that the IV that they gave him had lead in it. In fact, itwas not an IV. It was water that had been sold to the hospital as an IV. So, you canimagine, we must not only make sure that we produce medicines, but we must makesure that we have quality global standards and safety for everybody.This is at the core of what we’re going to do. The African Development Bank willtherefore be investing $3 billion dollars to support Africa’s pharmaceutical andvaccines production.The Bank is planning, subject to the approval of our board of directors, to invest inhelping to build Africa’s healthcare infrastructure, its primary, secondary and tertiaryhealthcare, and in particular, diagnostic facilities.Let me give you a little bit of why we need to do this. Today, if anybody goes throughsurgery in Africa, the risk of death is 200% above that of the global average. If yougo to diagnostic facilities, you will find that the accuracy is about 30% of the globalaverage.And if you look at the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that we have, in terms ofMRI density, it’s all about 0.74, for a million people.You look at the rest of world, and it’s easy to see that it is very high here. And so, wemust make sure that we secure ourselves. And because the Bank has beeninvesting a lot in infrastructure for a long time, we decided – look, you know, it’s greatto have good roads. It’s great to have great ports. But what good are they if they arecarrying dead people or sick people. So, we decided we must focus on helping torevamp Africa’s quality healthcare infrastructure.Your Excellencies, As Africa tackles Covid-19 challenges, it must now also tackle theissue of debt, which I mentioned to you earlier. And I would like to discuss this aheadof the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Annual Meetings takingplace here later this month.More than 17 African countries were downgraded immediately because of the verywidespread negative impacts of Covid-19. They changed their outlook to negative, inmany of the countries.Africa’s debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 60% to 70% to 75%. Africa’s quantum of debtgrew to $845 billion. Now, what is particularly worrying for me is the composition ofthat debt.Because if you look at it, in 2000, concessional debt, Paris Club debt, was about52% of total Africa debt. By 2019, that had declined to 27%. But the dependence onprivate markets, private debt and commercial debt, rose in substitution.
In fact, the share of Africa’s debt that is from private and commercial debt, rose from17% in 2002 to 40% today. Most of that short-term debt, high yields. So, this iswhere the problem really is.And so, we must make sure that we pay attention to this issue. And that brings me tothe role of the IMF.The recent issuance of $650 billion special drawing rights (SDRs) by the IMF offers aunique opportunity to support countries going forward. And I would like to use thisopportunity, your Excellencies, to applaud US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen,because without Secretary Yellen’s strong support, and obviously also PresidentBiden’s, this would never have happened.I also want to use the opportunity as well to commend the leadership role thatKristalina Georgieva played in this role, because without her leadership, we wouldn’tbe talking SDRs today.While Africa is the least resourced to tackle the continual effects of the pandemic, weonly receive, however, $31 billion out of the $650 billion. And of course, those thathave most of it don’t need it. It’s just the way in which the allocation formula works atthe IMF.Advocacy efforts, Your Excellencies, are now needed for developed countries toreallocate the SDRs that have been issued to them, which they don’t need. Theyshould reallocate those unneeded SDRs to developing countries, to Africa. And Iwould like to commend my dear friend, President Emmanuel Macron for theleadership that he has shown on this.And I don’t know if you saw it, it was just last week – or this week. President Macronannounced that he plans to donate 20% of their own allocation of SDRs to Africa.That’s what I call commitment.Your Excellencies,In addition to channelling SDRs to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust,which is where it’s going to go largely, and of course, to the newly created Resilienceand Sustainable Trust, we must also consider and support SDRs to be reallocated toother multilateral development banks, such as the African Development Bank. This isbecause we are a prescribed organ of the SDRs.Multilateral development banks like the African Development Bank can leverage andthat’s a key word – leverage. We can leverage SDRs significantly. In fact, if theAfrican Development Bank were to get $50 billion, we could leverage that to be $200billion, that is provided through development finance institutions, across Africa.And therefore, Your Excellencies, I would like to request you to kindly advocate forthe SDRs to also be reallocated to the African Development Bank, for Africa. Andthat, of course, is the position of the African Union. That is the position of all ourleaders on the continent.
Your Excellencies, climate change is also important. Ambassador Mombouli alsomentioned this to you in his remarks. The Egyptian Ambassador was just saying thatto me while I was sitting there.The African Development Bank is spearheading efforts to support Africa in tacklingclimate change. We have doubled our allocation for climate finance to $25 billion by2025. And that would be 40% of our total financing going to climate finance.But most important, Your Excellencies, is that we are mindful of what our challengesare. Our challenge is basically with climate adaptation. Africa does not contributemore than 4% or even less, of greenhouse gas emissions, but we suffer from it.From drought to floods. The Ambassador from Mozambique is here. We hadHurricane Idai and Kenneth. You see the devastation across East Africa: thedrought, the locust swarms and everything that we have. We are at the receiving endof this.The report of the International Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is quitesobering and makes you quite afraid because it says that Africa will heat up fasterthan the rest of the world and earlier than the rest of the world – 10 years faster thanprojected. That’s scary.And that’s why the Bank is responding. We are increasingly putting more of ourresources to adaptation. Today, we have 67% of all our climate finance being inadaptation, that is the highest of any international financial institution in the world.In fact, just last week at the UN General Assembly, I’m sure many of you may havebeen there. The UN Secretary General, António Guterres said the following, and letme quote him.He said, “The African Development Bank has set the bar in 2019 by allocating half ofall its climate finance to climate adaptation. Some donors have followed their lead.”And then he concluded, “all must do so.”That is the leadership that we have shown on this issue.I and the former United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon are also workingtogether.The Global Center for Adaptation, he chairs, together with the African DevelopmentBank, have created what is called the African Adaptation Acceleration Program.This program is mobilizing an additional $25 billion for African climate adaptation.So, we can secure ourselves in the face of all this onslaught we are going to begetting.Energy is at the core of what we do. We are driving the potential of the continent onrenewable energy, and we should.God is good to Africa.
We have 11 terawatts of solar, 350 gigawatts potential of hydro, 150 gigawattstowards potential of wind, and we have about 35 gigawatts of geothermal. We mustharness this because nobody eats potential, nobody uses potential, we must unlockpotential.And one of the things that we are doing, Your Excellencies, is to launch what wehave called Desert to Power. Desert to Power.The Desert to Power initiative is a $20 billion investment by the Bank and its partnersto create the world’s largest solar zone in the Sahel. It will help to develop 10,000megawatts of electricity and provide electric power to 250 million people. That is thescale we are talking about and that is critical for the Sahel.The former prime minister of Niger is here. Many of you are here from the Sahel.Terrorists are taking over because of dark places, and they love dark places. Wewant to light up and power the Sahel.I want to request Your Excellences for your help to advocate for the strong support ofthe United States government for this transformation initiative for Africa.I was very pleased to have met with President Biden’s Special Envoy on Climate,Secretary, John Kerry, last week. He applauded the leadership of the AfricanDevelopment Bank in this area, and he promised to support Africa strongly in thisendeavour.Another initiative, which we have launched together with the African Union, is theGreat Green Wall initiative. Its aim is to provide an environmental defence shield inthe Sahel and the Sahara against desertification. Otherwise, many countries in theSahel may even disappear because of sand and desertification all over that area.So, it is our responsibility to ensure that we protect very fragile and vulnerableregions from the impact of climate change.Your Excellencies, The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), represents ahuge opportunity to transform Africa with a combined GDP of $3.3 trillion, the largestfree trade zone in the world. The size of consumer and business expenditures inAfrica will rise to $6.7 trillion by 2030.So, Africa is no longer a continent that can be ignored and if you are not investing inAfrica I will ask the question, where in the world are you investing?The African Development Bank has invested over $40 billion in infrastructure,working closely with the African Union’s NEPAD. In fact, when it used to be theNEPAD Authority, I worked closely with Dr Mayaki, who has been spearheading a lotof our work on infrastructure for Africa.Your Excellencies, if you want to know about the African Development Bank, we arethe largest financier of infrastructure in Africa. Far above the World Bank, far aboveany institution that you can find.
We helped to build the historic and landmark Senegambia Bridge. The Ambassadorfrom The Gambia is here with us this morning and so is the Ambassador of Senegal.If you look at each other, there was no bridge between those two countries. So, wefinanced the construction of the Senegambia Bridge, and today, people can justcross the bridge. So, it’s very inspiring for us.With $1 billion, we helped to finance the 1000-kilometres highway between Addis-Ababa and Nairobi. This now provides an opportunity for Ethiopia to access Kenya’sMombasa Port. And that is going to allow Ethiopia and Kenya to increase their tradeby 400%. That is the power of infrastructure.The Bank-financed Kazungula Bridge now connects Botswana, Malawi, and Zambia– 1170 kilometres, which is now boosting trade and access to the sea and allowsthese countries to reduce the cost of transport by 15 to 25%.The Bank-financed Bamako –Dakar Highway now carries more than 50% of Mali’sinternational trade straight to the Port of Dakar.The Bank has supported several ports, including those of Morocco, Togo andNamibia. In fact, with Namibia’s Walvis Bay Port today, we have helped to increaseits capacity by 70%.And together with Africa50, the Bank is supporting the construction of a road railproject between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo.Two people standing on the sides of the two countries can just look across at eachother. They can try to shake hands from a distance, but now they can easily justcross from one side to the other.So, your Excellency, Ambassador Mombouli, this is one in which your President andthe President, my dear brother, Sassou Nguesso, and President Tshisekedi, areworking very closely, and we are very proud of this.And for those in West Africa, the African Development Bank is working with theEconomic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and will be financing, theLagos – Abidjan to Dakar Highway, which will carry more than 80% of all the trade inWest Africa.So, Your Excellencies, Africa’s massive infrastructure needs remain, and theypresent economic investment opportunities for institutional investors in our countries,but also for investors from the United States. This is the time to change theinvestment narrative on Africa in the United States.The African Development Bank is developing strategic alliances and partnerships,taking advantage of the new outlook of new administration.We are working closely now that the US Development Finance Corporation, TheMillennium Challenge Corporation, the Corporate Council on Africa, the UnitedStates Trade Development Agency, USAID, and of course, the Department ofEnergy, PROSPER Africa, and the US Exim Bank to launch a new approach of
working together to massively direct US capital investments to infrastructure inAfrica.The African Development Bank applauds the United States Government’s BuildBack Better World launched by President Biden. We stand fully ready with yourengagements as ambassadors here and with the US departments and agencies tohelp to make this initiative a huge success. It is a unique opportunity for ourcontinent.Finally, Your Excellencies, this is a time to expand US investments in Africa at scale.The Africa Investment Forum, organized by the African Development Bank, whichhas become Africa’s premier investment marketplace, presents the opportunity fordoing that. We had the first two editions of this forum in 2018, and 2019 before Covidstruck. In 2018, we mobilized $30.7 billion of investment commitment interests toAfrica. And this in less than 72 hours.Some people used to think that Africa is not bankable, I know Africa is bankable. Ijust don’t know where your bank is. You should bring your bank to Africa.In 2019, we mobilized $40 billion in investment interest – again, in less than 72hours. This included a $24 billion transaction for liquefied natural gas inMozambique. It will make Mozambique the third-largest producer of liquified naturalgas in the world. I think you can give the Mozambican Ambassador some applausefor this.Your Excellencies, the 2021 Africa Investment Forum will be held from the 1stthrough the 3rd of December in Abidjan. I want to invite you to join the forum andwe’re exchanging with your countries and Your Excellencies to participate in theforum’s unique investment boardrooms. These are sessions where there is really notalk. It is all about investments, transactions, and deals that are done. The onlywords that matter, are closing interactions at these events.Your Excellencies, as I close, let me say again that just like you helped the Bank, inits general capital increase, I will need you again. To strongly support the 16threplenishment of the African Development Fund, which we use to support the low-income countries and fragile states.We would like the African Development Fund to be allowed by the donors to go tothe capital market, just like the International Development Association (IDA) hasgone to the capital market. We have equity in the African Development Fund of $26billion. But we can go to the capital market and raise an additional $33 billion that wecan use to scale up support for African economies, especially low-income countries.Your advocacy with donor countries, especially the United States Treasury, and themobilization of strong support for this, Your Excellencies, by your Heads of State andGovernment, is crucial.
Again, Your Excellencies, let me say that we look forward to working together withyou, to help us make the African Development Fund’s 16th replenishment anothermomentous period to scale up resources for Africa.And, of course, I will not sit down without letting you know that I love talking to you.It’s good to see you, but I want to see you more, and that means that I’ve got to havean office here. And that’s what we would like to ask you to advocate for. It is veryimportant that Africa’s voice be heard. It is very important to have the mindset onAfrica change.Africa is not begging for help. Africa is an investment destination for the UnitedStates, and it must be respected by all, as the frontier of investment in the world.So, thank you very much, Your Excellencies. It is very good to be here today, and Ilook forward to, hopefully, hopefully, coming back and inviting you to our office herein Washington.