17.05.2005 Business & Finance

ADB Group records best outing in 10 years

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Accra, May 17, GNA - The African Development Bank Group recorded its best outing in 10 years in 2004 with a net income of 167 million dollars or 107 million Standard Drawing Right, the Treasurer, Ms Arunma Oteh, said in Abuja on Monday.

"Indeed 2004 was an excellent year, with the Bank Group providing the highest level of financial assistance to African countries and entities and achieving the highest level of operating income in history," she said when she presented the Group's financial and operations report for 2004 at the 2005 Annual Meeting. A statement from ADB on Tuesday said through its three constituent windows, the Bank Group addressed the diverse needs of African countries effectively last year.

Ms Oteh said the African Development Bank granted loans of up to 20 years maturity, including a five-year grace period, and on market-based lending terms, while the second window, the African Development Fund, provided loans of up to 50 years maturity, with a 10 years grace period. The third window, the Nigeria Trust Fund, she added, provided loans from which all African countries could benefit.

The loans, she explained, were of 25 years maturity with five years period of grace and interest rate of between 2 per cent and 4 per cent. The Treasurer said the Bank Group's 2004 approvals in 2004 amounted to 4.33 billion dollars with approvals for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries' approvals netting 1.57 billion dollars, including 905 million dollars for the Democratic Republic of Congo. She explained that ADB approvals, excluding those to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries, amounted to 1.26 billion dollars in 2004, while approvals to the countries, excluding those from the Africa Development Fund, were 1.49 billion dollars. The Nigeria Trust Fund approval in 2004 amounted to 14.4 million dollars.

Ms Oteh said in 2004, the Bank Group supported critical sectors in all regions of Africa with over 3,000 cumulative approvals amounting to 52 billion dollars.

She said Central Africa got 12.1 per cent of the approvals, East Africa got 14.8 per cent, while North Africa got 32.5 per cent. Southern Africa got 13.8 per cent of the approvals, West Africa got 23.8 per cent, while the Multi regional got 3 per cent. About 18.3 per cent of the approvals went to agriculture and rural development, 11.6 per cent to the social sector, 16.6 per cent to the transport sector, 13.4 per cent to the finance sector and 5.5 per cent to industry.

Power supply got 9.1 per cent of the approvals, water supply got 7.5 per cent, and the multi-sector got 15.3 per cent, while 2.7 per cent went to the miscellaneous sector.

Ms Oteh said country ownership, greater selectivity and rigorous project selection process resulted in high quality portfolio in 2004 when credit policy directed the ADB to approve only market-based lending to lower risk countries, while Africa Development Fund concessional resources were directed only at low income countries. Debt relief to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries guaranteed debt service on market-based ADB loans made to low income countries prior to the adoption of the credit policy in 1995.

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