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In 10 years AfDB made nine remarkable commitments to reduce poverty in Africa

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Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

BY: Yinka Okeowo

  • The Bank’s investments have benefited millions of Africans through its 10-year strategy which it began implementing from 2013

For the past five decades, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), has been at the forefront of driving Africa’s economic transformation, leveraging its diverse resources and unique know-how as an indigenous development finance institution.

The Bank has delivered on its goals of reducing poverty and fostering inclusive growth on the continent.

The bank scaled up development support for the 54 regional member countries and recorded remarkable successes in recent years in a renewed push to help deliver life-changing impact to livelihoods.

Overall, the Bank’s investments have benefited millions of Africans through its 10-year strategy which it began implementing from 2013.

Here are highlights of the Bank’s achievements:

Landmark General Capital Increase:

At an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in October 2019 in Abidjan, Governors of the African Development Bank, representing shareholders from 80 countries, approved a landmark $115 billion increase in capital for the continent’s foremost financial institution.

The increase, the largest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964, more than doubled its capital from $93 billion to $208 billion. This solidifies the Bank’s leadership in development financing for the continent.

Successful African Development Fund (ADF15) replenishment:

In December 2019, donors announced a remarkable $7.6 billion to replenish the African Development Fund.

The replenishment represented a 35% increase in financing for low-income African countries at the end of the fifteenth replenishment of the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the Bank Group.

The ADF contributes to poverty reduction and economic and social development in the 38 least developed African countries by providing concessional funding for projects and programs, as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity-building activities.

Resource mobilization for Women-Owned Businesses at G7 summit:

At the G7 summit of world leaders in Biarritz, France, in August 2019, the President of the Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, successfully launched a global campaign of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) to mobilize $3 billion for women entrepreneurs in Africa, with strong support and resources from G7 leaders and nations.

During the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron announced France’s contribution of $135 million to the AFAWA initiative to encourage women’s access to funding in Africa.

The amount represents more than half the financial support of $251 million promised by the G7 governments.

Also, the Bank co-hosted delegations from around the world for the first Global Gender Summit held in Africa, in Kigali, Rwanda.

The gathering, attended by the presidents of Ethiopia – Sahle-Work Zewde, and Rwanda, Paul Kagame – moved the needle forward on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa and around the world. Several agreements were signed to facilitate project financing for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

2019 Africa Investment Forum (AIF):

Following a highly successful inaugural event, the Bank secured more than $40 billion worth of investment interest in less than 72 hours at the second edition of the Africa Investment Forum held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Forum, Africa’s largest marketplace for mobilizing capital, featured 56 boardroom deals valued at $67.6 billion – a 44% increase from the 2018 debut.

Transparent Institution:

The Bank ranks 4th globally in transparency among 45 multilateral and bilateral institutions by Publish What You Fund, an outfit that consists of 19 developed economies. In addition, all the major rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and the Japanese Credit Rating Agency have assigned it a triple-A rating. The outlook on all the ratings is stable and reflects the Bank’s strong membership support, healthy capital adequacy, preferred creditor status and strong financial condition.

The Bank also recorded a few firsts.

Room2Run:

In 2018, the Bank launched Room2Run, a pioneering $1 billion synthetic securitization of a portfolio of its private sector loans to serve as a model for other multilateral development banks and investors as they seek new ways to release much-needed financing to catalyse private capital in developing markets.

COVID-19 Social Bond:

In March 2020, the Bank raised an exceptional $3 billion in a three-year bond to help ease the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.

The Fight Covid-19 social bond garnered interest from central banks and official institutions, bank treasuries, and asset managers, including socially responsible investors, with bids exceeding $4.6 billion.

It was the largest dollar-denominated social bond ever launched in international capital markets and the largest US dollar benchmark ever issued by the Bank. It will pay an interest rate of 0.75%.

LSE listing of Social Bond:

The Bank celebrated another milestone with the listing of its Fight Covid-19 social bond on the London Stock Exchange on April 3. The bond is now available through its Sustainable Bond Market.

TAAT innovation boosting agriculture:

The Bank’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation program (TAAT) is leading the charge in helping to transform local staple crops across the continent, including maize, rice, wheat, cassava, high-iron beans, sorghum, millet, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes as well as livestock and fish.

TAAT aims to raise food output in Africa by 100 million tons and lift 40 million people out of poverty by 2025 by harnessing high-impact, proven technologies to raise productivity, mitigate risks, and promote diversification and processing.

Finance

UBA denies report linking Bank, Tony Elumelu to N41bn NITEL fraud

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UBA
UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, following up with the proceeding during UBA's virtual AGM on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - Photo Credit: LinkedIn/Tony Elumelu

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has denied the report credited to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, alleging the bank’s involvement and the indictment of its chairman Tony Elumelu in a N41 billion Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) fraud.

NITEL

Nigerian Telecommunications LTD, NITEL office in Lagos (source: Punch/Google

According to a report by THE WITNESS, Mr Elumelu’s lawyers demanded a public apology and retraction of the claim within seven days of receipt of the letter or face legal action.

The said reports credited to Akinyelure alleged the amount was withdrawn “systematically from NITEL for nine years” under the leadership of the UBA.

“Our Client is shocked by this false, baseless, and mischievous allegation as neither him nor any of the organisations associated with him has ever been involved in or indicted for any fraud as was falsely alleged by Senator Ayo Akinyelure,” the letter by Elumelu’s lawyers read.

“Our Client is also alarmed and appalled by this deliberate peddling of falsehood and misinformation against an unblemished personal and business reputation, painstakingly built by our Client over several decades with great personal sacrifice and unquestionable integrity.

“Our Client has instructed us to, and we have demanded an immediate open, public and unreserved retraction of the said statements credited to Senator Akinyelure and an apology from Senator Akinyelure for this false allegation and defamation of our Client,” it added.

Group Managing Director/CEO of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, is due to appear before the Senate committee on Wednesday.

[Source: The Witness]

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Finance

Fintech1000plus honours three telecom network operators, members

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Fintech1000plus

Fintech1000plus, Nigeria’s foremost informal association in the banking, financial and allied technology sector recently honoured three telecommunication companies and some of its members following their immense contributions, sacrifies and support in the association’s CSR COVID-19 intervention for the NCDC.

Leading the honours list as Fintech1000plus Heroes are; Airtel, MTN, Gobalcom, Rev. Sunday Folayan, Sola Fanawopo and other volunteers.

The awards were presented by Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director Sterling Bank plc and Omoke Adebanjo, Mastercard Senior Vice President, Regional Franchise Lead (Middle East & Africa). Both are members of Fintech1000plus.

Speaking at the virtual event which was held recently, Iyin Aboyeji, Founder Future Africa and member Fintech1000plus said, “after some weeks after COVID-19 hit the country we observed some technology challenges which the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was having. They included; inability to efficiently disseminate mass media communication & information to all mobile phones concurrently, and incidence reporting which includes; tracking, tracing and citizens action points.”

The association after discussing among its members and interacting with the NCDC decided to put together a number of front-end interfaces that will rapidly use the Covid-19 Risk Assessment triage to quickly analyze information from the public, while storing the information in a backend database for subsequent analysis and follow-up.

The front ends were made up of; Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), USSD application in major Nigerian languages, desktop tools for web-based access, and a mobile APP.

Moreover, as much as possible, make the front ends toll free or ZERO cost to the people, and for the telcos to make the portal access free for such incident response systems.

Acknowledging the outcome of the Fintech1000plus support, the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, commended the association, its telecom partners and volunteers for a job well done.

“The fight against COVID-19 is not a government or public sector battle alone. But that of every stakeholder of the Nigeria project. Fintech1000plus support is well appreciated and a commendable partnership from the private sector. It is our wish that such will continue, not just during this COVID-19 pandemic but in other areas in future”, he said.

Fintech1000plus is an informal association of professionals in the financial technology sector that adopts a pragmatic approach to solving problems, especially those that impact the ability of Nigerians to do business and make payments and Settlements Electronically.

In line with its CSR activities, it played significant roles in the fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic working with NCDC.

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Finance

Zenith Bank unveils ‘Zenith Beta Life’, promo to reward customers weekly

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Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has commenced its “Zenith Beta Life” Promo to reward customers of the Bank with gifts every week starting from 31st July 2020 to 30th July 2021.

During this period, fifty (50) customers will be selected via raffle draw each week and rewarded with gifts worth NGN30,000.

The Promo is open to existing and new Zenith Bank customers with the following raffle qualifying criteria:

  • maintain a minimum deposit of NGN5,000 for the period;
  • request and collect a Zenith Bank Card; and
  • download and register on the Zenith Mobile App or register for *966# EazyBanking.

Zenith Bank Plc is recognised as one of the most customer-focused financial institutions in the country and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

A clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions, Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices.

In recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto and Co.

The Bank was also recognised as Bank of the Year and Best in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards.

More recently, the Bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020”, number one Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking published by The Banker Magazine, Best Bank in Nigeria 2020 in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020, and Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020.

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