Mr. Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, is advocating for greater concessional funding from the World Bank Group to address Africa’s development challenges.
As Chair of the African Governors Forum of the World Bank, Edun expressed this plea during a roundtable discussion on economic transformation in West and Central Africa.
The roundtable aimed to provide a platform for World Bank governors to deliberate on strategies to advance ambitious development priorities in the region. It also explored how the ongoing evolution of the World Bank could expedite progress and engage governors in supporting an ambitious financing and policy package for IDA21.
Attended by finance ministers from the two sub-regions and senior officials of the World Bank Group, the forum highlighted Edun’s call for increased concessional financing in light of the World Bank’s announcement of earmarking $44 billion for Africa. Noting that funding in the region had surged from $2 billion in 2000 to $28 billion presently, Edun emphasised the need for substantial replenishment to provide additional concessional financing.
While acknowledging the significant support rendered by the Bank, Edun underscored Africa’s determination to collaborate with the World Bank to stimulate economic growth and improve living standards.
In her remarks, Ms. Anna Bjerde, World Bank Managing Director of Operations, revealed that funding for Africa had increased from approximately $2 billion in 2000 to $10 billion in 2010, and $28 billion in the current year. She also outlined plans to allocate more funding through specialised channels to prevent conflicts and promote regional integration.
Bjerde reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to Africa’s growth, emphasising the expansion of financing to sub-Saharan Africa as a testament to this commitment.