President Paul Kagame has expressed his full support for the Abidjan Declaration initiated by President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire and the World Bank Group to lay ground for an ambitious and robust 20th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA20), to help African countries recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Kagame virtually joined other African leaders and the World Bank for a high-level meeting hosted by President Ouattara to generate support for the 20th replenishment of the IDA to support a resilient recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and help the continent continue its economic transformation.
In a tweet after the meeting, President Kagame reiterated his earlier remarks, emphasizing that “we must do our part as a continent, working together with our partners”, highlighting Rwanda’s support of the process.
President Kagame, who said that he wanted to be in Abidjan physically but couldn’t due to the third wave of COVID-19 currently affecting the country, thanked President Ouattara for convening the meeting.
“Rwanda fully endorses the Abidjan Declaration to express Africa’s strong support for the 20th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA). I also wish to commend the central role that the World Bank has played, and continues to play, in supporting our continent through the Covid-19 pandemic,” President Kagame said.
“The scope of this replenishment is very ambitious, both financially and in terms of the comprehensive set of funding priorities that have been defined. Alongside health systems, we also need to increase investment in infrastructure, climate mitigation, industrial development, and human capital,” he said, adding that the process is what the continent needs right now.
“That is exactly what we need right now, and it is why the World Bank decided to launch the 20th replenishment cycle early. In Africa, we must do our part by building accountable and efficient service delivery institutions. We must also mobilize more domestic tax revenue and invest a greater share of our own resources in the health and education budget,”
“However, these efforts will not produce the good results we want without greater attention to peace and security. This point was emphasized earlier by my brother, President Ouattara, Chairperson Moussa Faki, Makhtar Diop, and Axel van Trotsenburg,” he noted.
The Head of State pointed out that in all of Africa’s sub-regions, examples of gains being eroded because of conflict and fragility are visible for all, and this diverts resources from other development priorities, and even affects regional neighbours.
He pointed out that there is a real need for the continent to work together closely to find a sustainable financing mechanism for peace and security institutions in Africa, alongside IDA20 and reinforcing it.
“If implemented, the bold vision articulated in this Declaration will enable Africa to recover from the pandemic and return to a solid growth trajectory. Of course, it goes without saying that the private sector has a very important and central role to play in partnering with government,”
“I, therefore, join the call to attract at least $100 billion for the 20th IDA replenishment by the end of 2021. We must maintain focus on the most important thing, and that is continuing to make the progress we are making. We cannot allow obstacles to become permanent setbacks, especially those within our power to fix,” he said.
The World Bank launched an early 20th replenishment process of the IDA in April. IDA is a World Bank fund for the world’s poorest countries, aiming to support countries in their recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and transition to green, resilient, and inclusive development.
The IDA20 replenishment is expected to conclude in December 2021 with a policy and financial package to support 74 countries between July 2022 and June 2025.
“IDA accelerated its financing commitments in 2020 to help the world’s poorest countries contain the impacts of the pandemic and lay the groundwork for recovery. I am pleased that our shareholders have agreed to an early replenishment so IDA can continue these efforts,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass at the launch of the process.
“IDA is a uniquely effective platform, consolidating global resources from donors and capital markets to support well-focused country programs and development spending. An ambitious and successful IDA20 replenishment by December 2021 will be critical to provide the concessional financing and grants that the poorest countries need so urgently at this time,” he added.
The IDA19 three-year cycle started in July 2020 with $23.5 billion of donor contributions aiming to enable a total of $82 billion financing to IDA countries. Almost half of this amount has been committed to the world’s poorest countries in the first year of the IDA19 cycle, necessitating advancing IDA20 so that additional financial resources can be available for countries to meet their urgent development needs.
In February 2021, IDA donor and borrower country representatives agreed to advance IDA20 by one year due to pressures of the COVID-19 crisis.
Under the theme “Building Back Better from the Crisis: Towards a Green, Resilient and Inclusive Future,” the IDA20 replenishment process is informed by IDA19 progress as well as the World Bank’s mission and COVID-19 response.
IDA donor and borrower representatives agreed that the IDA20 policy framework will maintain the four IDA19 special themes of climate change; fragility, conflict and violence; gender; and jobs and economic transformation; and introduce human capital as the fifth special theme. IDA20 will also deepen recovery efforts by focusing on four cross-cutting issues: crisis preparedness; debt sustainability and transparency; governance and institutions; and technology.
Negotiations on the policy commitments and financing framework will continue through meetings till the end of the year, concluding with donors pledging their contributions on December 13-14, 2021.
The negotiation process will be co-chaired by Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations, and Dr. Denny Kalyalya, an independent co-chair selected by IDA donor and borrower representatives.
IDA is one of the largest sources of funding for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. IDA provides zero- or low-interest loans and grants to countries for projects and programs that boost economic growth, build resilience, and improve the lives of poor people around the world. Since 1960, IDA has provided about $422 billion for investments in 114 countries.
As an institution of the World Bank Group, IDA combines global expertise with an exclusive focus on reducing poverty and boosting prosperity in the world’s poorest countries.