The fight against COVID-19 is set to get a boost as the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s shareholders have shown strong support for the bank’s proposals.
This is coming on the heels of a fear of another wave of the ravaging virus.
This is a fallout from the 56th Annual Meetings of the bank’s Group which included the 47th meeting of the Governors of the African Development Fund, the bank’s concessional lending arm.
According to reports, part of the proposal is that the bank, the continent’s only development finance institution with a AAA credit rating, act as a conduit for International Monetary Fund (IMF) special drawing rights, which it would then on-lend to African countries.
AfDB’s President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, proposed an African stability mechanism, modeled on a European one, to act as a firewall against external shocks.
Adesina also pledged that the bank would strengthen support to African countries as they tackle the pandemic’s economic and health impacts.
He noted that the bank would invest heavily in domestic vaccine manufacturing and in Africa’s healthcare system, noting that only 51 per cent of public health facilities have basic water and sanitation, and only 31 per cent of healthcare facilities have electricity.