IDB joins hands with AfDB to boost devel­op­ment

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

JED­DAH: The sign­ing last week in Jed­dah of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) be­tween the Is­lamic Devel­op­ment Bank (IDB) and the African Devel­op­ment Bank (AfDB) to co­op­er­ate in coin­vest­ment in projects in mem­ber coun­tries mu­tual to both mul­ti­lat­eral devel­op­ment banks (MDBs) is long over­due.

Un­der the MoU, the two MDBs will com­mit to con­trib­ute $500 mil­lion each in a $1 bil­lion co­op­er­a­tion span­ning three years start­ing in 2011 and based on the AfDB's medium term strat­egy and the IDB spe­cial pro­gram for the devel­op­ment of Africa (SPDA), whose main fo­cus is to as­sist in scal­ing-up in­ter­ven­tions in Africa in agri­cul­ture, in­fra­struc­ture, wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and health­care.

A few years ago the IDB also launched the Oua­gadougou Dec­la­ra­tion signed in Burkino Faso in the mid-2000s dur­ing the IDB board of gov­er­nors an­nual meet­ing. The Oua­gadougou Dec­la­ra­tion is a $2 bil­lion 5year pro­gram in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion, pri­mary health­care, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and ca­pac­ity build­ing. The pro­gram has in fact dis­bursed over $2.38 bil­lion to date and has been rolled over.

"The ob­jec­tive of this co­fi­nanc­ing MoU will be to fos­ter eco­nomic devel­op­ment and so­cial progress in or­der to co­or­di­nate co-fi­nanc­ing projects and to pro­mote eco­nomic devel­op­ment and tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion in com­mon mem­ber coun­tries. This is aimed at re­duc­ing poverty level in the African con­ti­nent and up­lift­ing the level of rev­enues", said AfDB vice-pres­i­dent Ka­mal El-Kheshen.

Africa is a ma­jor con­stituency for the IDB, which its crit­ics also stress is its weak­est link be­cause of the en­trenched gov­er­nance prob­lems in these coun­tries. Some 27 of the IDB's 57 mem­ber coun­tries come from Africa in­clud­ing some 21 from sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa. In­deed these lat­ter mem­ber coun­tries are some of the poor­est on earth ac­cord­ing to UN cri­te­ria and are clas­si­fied as Least De­vel­oped Coun­tries (LCDs).

African mem­ber coun­tries of the IDB are di­verse and do not have to be Mus­lim ma­jor­ity coun­tries. For in­stance Mozam­bique and Uganda, both of which have small­ish Mus­lim mi­nori­ties, are both mem­ber coun­tries and ben­e­fit from IDB fi­nanc­ing and in­vest­ment. -PB News

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