December 17/2021/ENA/ The Africa Development Bank (ADB) will do everything it can to rally support around Ethiopia, Bank Chief Akinwumi Adesina told President Sahle-Work Zewde in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
President Sahle-Work Zewde and African Development Bank Chief Akinwumi Adesina met on Thursday to discuss Ethiopia’s current and post-Covid-19 development priorities.
During the discussion, the chief said, “We will do everything we can to rally support around Ethiopia.”
Lauding the partnership between the ADB and the Ethiopian government, Adesina cited several bank-financed initiatives that were helping to bring the bank’s High 5 priorities to fruition in Ethiopia.
“We are proud to have supported the Addis Ababa to Nairobi highway, which is linking Ethiopia and Kenya,” he stated.
According to him, the project is a one-billion-dollar investment that allows Ethiopia and Kenya to increase bilateral trade by 400 percent.
Adesina also identified other projects in the pipeline, including USD 402 million earmarked for investment in various operations, including the Addis Ababa Kebena Urban River Development Project, and an institutional project involving the private sector, according to ADB press release.
President Sahle-Work on her part described the African Development Bank as the country’s development partner of choice.
She commended the bank for its longstanding support and its role in Ethiopia’s development.
“In many sectors, including agriculture, transport, energy, and the water— the support we have been getting for years from the African Development Bank, up to more than one billion dollars, has been very vital for Ethiopia.”
The president emphasized that Ethiopians had endured difficult times over the past two years but there were positive signs for the future despite the troubles the country was going through.
Following the country’s devastating war, recovering and rebuilding will be key government priorities for the Ethiopian government, she added.
The president thanked the chief for his assurance that the African Development Bank would be supporting the country in its continued quest for development as things returned to normal.
“Industrial parks have especially brought about hope for many young Ethiopians, but specifically women,” she noted.
Extolling the role of women in development, President President Sahle-Work said she is personally interested in the bank’s youth employment/women empowerment project, describing it as one which is as close to her heart as it is to Adesina.
In 2021, the Board of the African Development Bank Group approved funding for USD 27 million grant to boost nutrition in children aged 5 and under, the provision of better access to health services, and improved hygiene knowledge and practices.
Other strategic bank support to Ethiopia includes USD 47 million grant to young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector within the vicinity of agro-industrial parks.
The African Development Bank’s portfolio in Ethiopia includes 20 projects with a value of about 1.6 billion USD across several sectors, including transport, energy, water and sanitation, it was learned.
Ethiopia spends an average of 58 percent of its national budget on activities directly reducing poverty and boosting life expectancy.