02-December-2021

ADB Representative in Sudan, Abdul Kamara: The Real Independence is the Economic, not Political, which is our objective in Africa

By: Mohammed Osman

Khartoum, (Sudanow. Info) – The African Development Bank (ADB) was founded when 23 newly independent-African countries signed an agreement on the establishment of the bank during the African Summit Conference hosted by Khartoum, back in August,1963.
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The contributions of 20 countries of signatories of the agreement on the foundation of the bank represented 65% of the ADB capital which amounted to 250 million dollars at the time and by 2012, the capital soared to 103 billion dollars of which 60% was provided African member states, against 40% from contributions from the member-states outside the continent.

SUDANOW interviewed the ADB Resident Representative in the Sudan, Abdul Kamara, to shed more light on the bank activities in African countries, in general, and Sudan, in particular.

QUESTION: The ADB is a country and objective institution; tell us about the beginnings and when and how it established?

ANSWER: Yes, the ADB is a country financial institution founded by the Africans in Khartoum in 1963 then shifted to Lagos, Nigeria, in 1964 then to Abidjan, Ivory Cost and now in Tunis because of the war circumstances. The ADB is a multi-parties development financial institution which was founded to contribute to the economic development and social progress in the African countries. It included three entities, the ADB, the

African Development Fund and the Nigerian Credit Fund.
The objective of the bank is to combat poverty and improvement of living standards in the continent via the encouragement of the public and private capitals to invest in the projects and programs that will contribute to the socio-economic development in the region.

Sudan has had head start in taking over the bank presidency in the person of the late chief economist Mamoun Buheiri who was credited with the foundation and development of the bank. The ADB firstly aims first at providing real support for social and economic development of the continent through programs and projects being implemented across the continent, as well as through regional programs that include more than one country, and of course this requires the need for full political stability.

QUESTION: What is the extent of homogeneity between these institutions within the bank and the distribution of roles between them??

ANSWER: Yes, these three groups operating in full homogeneity to provide financial support is inform of grants and non-soft loans in the sense that it had benefits the amount of interest rate increases as the value of the loan increases and the interest here are needed to ensure the continuity of lending and this would beneficiaries, in this case, are the countries that have the ability to borrow and repay at the time," such as Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Botswana and South Africa. There are the least developed and most of the countries of North Africa come under this category and income as we know " flexible outlet " So the lists of the countries are reviewed every two years.

QUESTION: Mr. Kamara, How do you assess the economic situation in the African continent, in general, and in Sudan, in particular? What means for supporting and activating development in Sudan?

ANSWER: We, here in the bank when we granted Sudan that sum following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), we intended to build peace line and to combat poverty as it represents the bank's priority, so it was necessary to carry out scientific policies to define poverty in Sudan .

Now we can say that the rate of poverty in Sudan is than 26%, Khartoum is at the least a rate of 25% and Darfur is the highest rate of more than 60%. These figures and statistics are very important for the development of policies which they can identify who the vulnerable groups and the target. Then we developed new strategies to re- absorb the Sudan on the list of opportunities to get loans in what is known as " message state," and now we are preparing for the second message where it represents the identification of areas that need to receive support in the fields of capacity building, policy dialogue and technical assistance in the field of services. The bank also announced grant funding for the project of financial management.

QUESTION: Bank announced grant for the Sudan following the signing of the agreement to finance the public financial management and macroeconomic last January which will contribute to the debt relief due to the nature of the non-sustainable situation for the country's foreign debt, what is the nature of this contribution?

ANSWER: Sudan's Foreign debt was estimated in the year 2011 at 42 billion USD which is due debt on both the states of Sudan and South Sudan. It was agreed at the secession of southern Sudan, the two countries address the international community to write off these debts. If what was done in the framework of the so -called "HIPC Initiative" To have these exemption two conditions must be provided, first, the two countries should address the international community to write off the debts and the second is a genuine willingness of the international community to implement the exemption.

Until that time we establish for this decision, which means two important things, first is the inclusion of the name of Sudan again in the list of countries that have the right to borrow from the bank because the exemption is intended to streamline the positions of these debts, and does not necessarily mean complete abolition, but we hope to get the state more time to meet its financial obligations.

In the past year we have provided 1.9 million U.S. dollars to loan management and development of local resources. We know that the state has obligations to provide financial support for the United States as well as the obligations towards projects and programs implemented. Bank has also provided financial support values of $ 75,000 to assist the State in developing a strategy to reduce the burden on the state and cooperate in this regard with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Sudan to provide consulting specialists it is necessary to take part in those discussions in Sudan.

Decision needs to be unified address of the two countries to the international community including four axes: first arrange financing the transition to Sudan in order to reconcile the situation after the trauma of separation and after that Sudan has lost a large part of the natural resources and changed the map of population , the second axis is that the State of South Sudan a modern and growing state that need to be strongly supported and the third axis is the decision to exempt debt and the fourth is the decision to cancel the economic embargo on Sudan .

The bank paid the greatest attention to the subject of the exemption decision and we support a lot of discussions in this regard through the mechanism of the African Union to many experts and specialists in the field of border trade, project management, and we gave them as well as a review of similar experiences between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

At the level of funding we have provided grants worth 61 million dollars in various fields and in Darfur we allocated three million dollars for the rehabilitation of water sources even contribute to the return of citizens to their villages. We have provided technical assistance as well as to the University of Nyala to support research and studies in the field of livestock and climate change. As well as support the "Mamoun Buheiri Center" to conduct studies and hold specialised seminars in the field of capacity building and preparation of the national studies in management of national policies for the management of loans and applications with the participation of a number of specialists and economists from outside and inside the Sudan.

We made a further technical and financial cooperation with the Center for Energy National for further studies in the field of energy production costing 340,000 U.S. dollars and the aim of this research is to implement larger project creating the concept and new alternatives for energy production, especially outside the capital Khartoum, because the capital took its share of grants, but the states face lack of productivity tools such as energy sources, electricity and solar energy.
Agriculture sector is very important in Sudan and I have visited many areas in Sudan, such as the states of Gezira, Kassala, White Nile and saw the great potentialities of natural vast land well as the challenges facing the sector such as poor infrastructure, so we have the opportunity to conduct more studies and analysis of information to take advantage of these resources.

The Bank has assessed contributions in the discussion of " Poverty Reduction Strategy I in Sudan," in coordination with the relevant authorities and which have been discussing policies and financial plans of the state over the past years and now we are in the process of the preparation of full strategy and we awarded the Bank of Sudan amount of 3.2 million dollars for the preparation of studies to fight poverty in Sudan and the effects of the secession of southern Sudan , such as the return of many southerners citizens to their own areas and to give Sudan a solid base of information and data for the number of poor and this step is essential for the full implementation of strategies to reduce poverty and implement the decision of debt relief.

QUESTION: African continent is rich in natural resources but lagging behind developmentally and economically ....how to overcome this obstacle?

ANSWER: The bank's policies are not the same in every state, there are countries with average economy and the other is as sophisticated as that there are countries plagued by civil conflicts and the other going through post-conflict situations. Therefore, the Bank follows the Strategic Plan of 2013 - 2023 and which relies on four tracks , I depend on the development of infrastructure , we know that the world is Rapidly evolving and there are many opportunities of development and economic order to benefit from these opportunities should focus on the so-called " feature relative " and Africa, including its natural resources have this feature , but how to improve tapped with addressing the lack of roads , for example, which affects the movement of people and transportation to and from the areas of production and Bank finances several projects to build roads in Uganda and Kenya .

The second track is " to strengthen and establish good governance," which is necessary for the management of national resources in the past decades, such as the outbreak of the global financial crisis, Africa was in sixth place for the fastest economy growing in the world and also achieved Sudan double digit growth in 2006 and we can say now is that " Africa is making forward, "but what happens from growth does not seem to impact on the reduction of the poverty rate.

In order to maintain the sustainability of growth must be employed and prevents the growth and success to take advantage of it in the last sector development so as to avoid the risk of loss. For example, what happened in 2008, Botswana has adopted about 90% of its exports to the diamond, but when oil prices collapsed in the world was a huge loss. Also must be sources of income by members of the community and not the property of the companies only and that means more training and open new opportunities for jobs and microfinance projects and here we mean interest in sectors of agriculture, livestock and so on and this is what is called " a comprehensive growth " have supported this trend in many from countries such as Nigeria and Kenya.

The second axis is the so-called " green growth " is a matter of dispute because the economy is depends very much on the natural resources of water, land and cultivation of these sources that did not pay attention to her exposed to many negative effects due to climate variables so we will continue to support economic projects with a mind for these variables If Molina agricultural project on the bank of a river , for example, must anticipate a decrease in the provision of water for irrigation water pumps.

The third axis is the " regional projects ", a saving of more than one country , a need primarily provision of political stability to ensure continuity in the completion of the project and benefit from it , for example, roads continental linking more than one country , such as the Cairo - Juba and Libya - El Fasher, as well as the " Millennium Dam , " which serves the states of Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as our projects " to improve sustainable livelihoods and face the risk of drought and the floods may be devastating in some cases.

Bank does not have a "political agenda" but we support the political dialogue for example we cherish all the efforts, "of IGAAD" such as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the current mediation efforts in the state of South Sudan as well as the AU conference.

The fourth axis, and the latter is the development of knowledge and skills , because reports and population statistics show the high proportion of young people in Africa .This means two tendencies first two know and train this category and the second is to find job opportunities for them and we know that the problem is not only in education but in the quality of education that enables the individual to get a job and not paying attention these problems have consequences which appeared clearly in Tunisia , Egypt and Libya .

QUESTION: Bank includes in its membership countries from outside the continent, to what the extent they contribute to foreign projects in support of the bank. ?

ANSWER: ADB Alan global institution, but the management of Africa. The beginning of a purely African Bank consists of the total independent African countries at the time and then increased in number until now reached 54 countries. And because the economy is an integrated process that was necessary to open a Bank member countries from outside the continent , and most recently was Turkey's accession last year to become the state No. 26 in the membership of the fund note that Turkey is a member of the African Development Bank from the category of " outside the continent " and carry membership number 78 in the list of members of the Bank a list that also includes the United States, Britain and Japan, Canada, China, South Korea , Kuwait, Australia has recently submitted a request under consideration to join the bank. Bank full membership of 79 countries and countries outside the continent called the allied nations and its contributions in support of the ability of the Bank's activities.
It is worth mentioning that the African Development Bank provided grants and loans to finance a number of projects, 3 thousand and 769 projects with a total funding of $ 96 billion dollars, and that since the beginning of the introduction of financing agreements in 1967 and until the end of the year 2012.
ends- translated by Ismail Fadl Almula

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...

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