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Ethiopia: African Development Bank President Calls for Careful Financial Management

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Tuesday, 01 December 2015

Ethiopia: African Development Bank President Calls for Careful Financial Management

Akinwumi Adesina, the new President of the African Development Bank, who took up his job in September this year, has warned African countries to manage their finances carefully to repay dollar debts raised in recent years. In an interview with Reuters in Addis Ababa, he pointed out that African nations have taken advantage of historically low yields and strong investor appetite to issue Eurobonds or raise other funds on international markets. Africa's foreign currency bond issues between 2000 and 2014 totaled US$20.5 billion, with US$7.4 billion of that raised in 2014 alone. He emphasized that this meant they were financing high-cost debt using a devalued currency -- it just means it is more difficult to finance the debt with weak currencies push up servicing costs and oil and commodity revenues tumble. He said it was necessary to make sure that the debts were within sustainable limits: "We have to manage our finances well," he added.(...) he AfDB President urged African states to manufacture more. He said "I personally believe that the way to address this is to first and foremost make sure that African countries stop exporting primary commodities." He added "African countries need to develop value chains whether it is in oil and gas, minerals or metals, or whether it is agriculture - everything that Africa has." He also called for greater internal African trade to help reduce exposure to global fluctuations. President Adesina was in Addis Ababa for talks with the head of the African Union Commission, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn. In his talks with Prime Minister Hailemariam on Tuesday (November 24) President Adesina noted the Bank was supporting Ethiopia in agriculture, water sanitation, infrastructure, and particularly energy. It had allocated some US$1.2 billion this year for these sectors.

Source: All Africa