Banks in war of words over ballooning Africa debt

African Development Bank

African Development Bank

from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has reacted strongly to accusations by the Word Bank Group that it was contributing to the continent’s debt problems.

AfDB’s reaction follows sentiments attributed to World Bank President, David Malpass, who has recently been quoted as saying AfDB and other multilateral development banks were “lending to quickly” arguing this proves to be worsening the debt trap.

“This statement is inaccurate and not fact-based,” said Dr Victor Oladokun, AfDB Director: Communication and External Relations.

“It impugns the integrity of the AfDB, undermines our governance systems and incorrectly insinuates that we operate under different standards from the World Bank.”

Oladokun said the general statement by the president of the World Bank Group insinuating that the AfDB contributes to Africa’s debt problem and lowered standards of lending were misleading and inaccurate.

Oladokun denounced the World Bank leader for airing his concerns through the media.

“We are of the view that the World Bank could have explored other available platforms to discuss debt concerns among multilateral development banks,” he said.

The official noted the World Bank had significantly larger operations in Africa than the AfDB.

The World Bank’s operations approved for Africa in the 2018 fiscal year amounted to US$20,2 billion (about R301 billion), compared to $10,1 billion (R150,1 billion) by the AfDB.

Founded in 1964, AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the continent.

Its mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions in Africa.

The World Bank was founded in 1944. It provides loans and grants to governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.

– CAJ News

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