'You lend Africa's nations more than us', AfDB tackles World Bank President over comments on continent's rising debt profile

Akinwumi Adesina voted new President of the African Development Bank
  • African Development Bank rebuts World Bank President’s claims on Africa’s debt profile.
  • AfDB describes Malpass’s comments as inaccurate and not fact-based.
  • The regional bank says World Bank has larger operations in Africa with more loans to nations.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has tackled World Bank President David Malpass over comment on Multilateral Development Banks including AfDB are compounding the continent’s debt problems.

In a statement issued on Thursday, February 13th, 2020, the AfDB described Malpass’s comments as inaccurate and not fact-based, adding that the statement “undermines its governance systems, and incorrectly insinuates that we operate under different standards from the World Bank.

At a World Bank/IMF debt forum on Monday, the World Chief said other international financial institutions lend quickly to add to the debt problem of the countries.

He cited African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank among those Multilateral Development Banks.

“In the case of Africa, the African Development Bank is pushing large amounts of money into Nigeria, South Africa, and others without the strongest program to sustain it and push it forward.”

The AfDB explained that the World Bank has a more substantial balance sheet with significantly larger operations in Africa than the Development Bank.

“The World Bank’s operations approved for Africa in the 2018 fiscal year amounted to $20.2 billion, compared to $10.1 billion by the African Development Bank.

“With regard to Nigeria and South Africa, the World Bank’s outstanding loans for the 2018 fiscal year to both countries stood at $8.3 billion and US $2.4 billion, respectively. In contrast, the outstanding amounts for the African Development Bank Group to Nigeria and South Africa were $2.1 billion and $2.0 billion, respectively, for the same fiscal year.

The AfDB said it will continue to monitors the upward debt trend in Africa and assured that there is no systemic risk of debt distress.

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