AfDB calls for reforms to global financial design

The African Development Bank has supported calls to reform the international financial architecture.

AfDB Group Secretary General Vincent Nmehielle said Africa needs a complete transformation in terms of socio-economic development.

“Since independence in several African countries, we are still hoping for that kind of socio-economic development that is transformative,” he said.

Nmehielle said the necessary transformation is still in process.

He spoke of events during the AfDB Annual Meeting which began in Nairobi on Monday under the theme: Transforming Africa, the African Development Bank Group and the reform of the global financial architecture.

The AfDB chief said much has been achieved but there is still much to do and the African Development Bank has a role in the entire transformation process.

Nmehielle said the international financial architecture was designed primarily to address how to resurrect Europe after the end of World War II.

“And to what extent this has been applied to other developing countries, that is, access to development finance, the role that the AfDB can play in that process would be something that would be within the general debate that we would have.” he said.

African countries have repeatedly called for reforms from international financial institutions such as the World Bank.

They argue that they are burdened by debt and struggle to access concessional financing.

President William Ruto’s administration has called for a complete overhaul of current financial institutions, saying their conditions are unfair to African countries.

Ruto has argued that international financing for development must be more appropriate to the needs of the existential moment, in terms of accessibility, affordability and adequacy.

In July 2023, he also made similar calls for reforms at the African Union’s fifth biannual coordination meeting in Nairobi.

‚ÄúToday, Africa has $640 billion in outstanding debt and pays almost $70 billion in interest each year. It would be fair for us to have a funding mechanism that treats us equally,” he stated.