The African Development Bank Group has got a new member, Ireland, bringing its total number of international members to 27. Ireland’s membership goes along way to boosting the banks financial muscle and with it, the ability to fund development projects across the continent.
Ireland officially joined the Group last month after a declaration of its membership was issued in late April, a little less than an year after the country submitted its application to join the Group mid last year.
Following the declaration, Ireland’s top ranking government official the Minister for Finance Mr. Paschal Donohoe explained that its membership will serve to create investment opportunities for Irish businesses.
Short of detailing what business sectors will be targeted, the minister said the membership will help to advance shared development priorities, a view shared by the Bank’s President, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina,
The Bank’s president maintained that joining of its newest international member will boost the Bank’s mission to accelerate Africa’s economic development. The Bank’s funding arm, the African Development Fund has already got a monetary injection which comes as a membership condition.
Payment of what is referred to as ‘the initial subscription’ is done to the Fund and the capital stock of the Bank. This is only one of two other conditions, signing of ‘the Agreements establishing the Fund and Bank,’ and ‘deposit of the instruments of acceptance’ play an important role in fostering sustainable and inclusive social and economic growth and prosperity, helping the African continent to realize its potential to be the continent of promise and opportunity.
After Ireland’s application to join the Bank and Fund was approved in June 2019 it then deposited the Instrument of Ratification of the Agreement Establishing the African Development Fund in February this year. Two months later, it has now been declared an official member.
Since its inception in 1964, the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund serve to bridge the gap between Africa’s economic development ambitions and the needed funding to realize them.
In supporting Africa’s development through the Bank, Ireland is also fulfilling its own Strategy 2025 for Africa 2025. This Strategy includes a commitment to financial inclusion through socio-economic growth and the related job creation.
It is Ireland’s vision to create mutual prosperity through support of the continent’s development agenda while creating investment opportunities for Dutch businesses. However, its participation in the Bank also gives it a platform to steer partnerships policy development.
In the words of Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney
‘…there is strong alignment between the priorities of Ireland’s international development policy, A Better World, and the African Development Bank’s overarching High 5s strategy.’
And “…an important expression of our commitment to, and investment in, the multilateral system and of our contribution to peace, security and sustainable development in Africa. This partnership will help us reach the furthest behind first.”
With approval of Ireland’s membership now the African Development Bank Group has a total of 81 member countries. Of these members, 54 are African countries referred to as regional members and the other 27 are international countries, referred to as non-regional members.