The East African Development Bank (EADB) will invest more cash into regional development projects in key economic sectors.
EADB, which increased its support for key projects in energy, real estate, transport and agriculture last year, is seeking to scale up development finance, support and advisory services to the East African region.
The Bank’s strategy for 2011 to 2015 focuses on projects and programmes to enhance food security, education and skills development, health, trade and infrastructure through direct lending to projects and programme loans to sovereigns. The Bank aims to support the real economy throughout the region, as it has done since inception.
The decision to increase funding to key sectors and projects in the region was reached at the Bank’s 43rd Governing Council meeting attended by finance ministers from the Member States last week.
“The Governing Council adopted the Bank’s annual report for 2011 which shows that the Bank approved investments worth Ksh4.2 billion between July and December 2011 (US$ 50.8 million) spread across the key economic sectors of the East African region. This translates to a total project value of Ksh20.7 billion (US$ 250 million),” EADB Director General Vivienne Yeda Apopo said.
Ms. Yeda said EADB was consolidating its position as the leading development finance institution in East Africa. “As the key development finance institution of the region we will continue to support the development and integration aspirations of the East African Community,” explained Ms. Yeda.
EADB has also announced a positive trend in profitability as well as improvement in asset quality for the third consecutive year. The Bank’s net profit increased by more than 200% from USD 2.2 million in 2010 to USD 6.7 million in 2011. The Bank’s profit in 2009 was USD 1.85 million. The results were approved by the Governing Council in Nairobi last week.
Ms. Yeda added that growing investor interest in Africa is vital for the region’s economic prospects and EADB’s consolidation efforts.
“This renewed interest in Africa, and East Africa in particular, allowed EADB to achieve a record result with an annual business volume in 2011 more than doubling from its 2010 level. We are especially proud to report that we have commenced our sovereign lending portfolio. The nature of a number of projects that we supported in 2011, particularly those relating to infrastructure, have necessitated an increase in the size of loans to individual projects,” said Yeda.
She however said that EADB will still provide tailor-made solutions especially for smaller enterprises for which access to finance remains difficult. The Governing Council underscored its support to the EADB in its efforts to mobilise adequate resources both from within the region and internationally to fund the growth in development interventions as envisaged in the strategic plan.
The Bank will continue to support capital markets through bond issuances which it is proud to have pioneered in the region, as well as intermediate savings from the international markets so as to contribute towards the savings gap in the region.
The Members who attended the 43rd Governing Council Meeting were its Chairman John Rwangombwa, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda; Maria Kiwanuka Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda and Pereira Ame Silima, Deputy Minister for Finance, Tanzania.
EADB promotes Sustainable Socio-Economic Development in East Africa by Providing Development Finance, Support and Advisory Services. It has supported sustainable Socio- Economic Development in the East African Region for the last 45 years.
Among the products and services EADB provides include term loans, trade finance facilities, short-term working capital facilities, asset leasing facilities, equity investments, acting as a management agency for donor funds, loan guarantees, real estate and property development loans.
The consolidation process of the Bank is elaborated in the EADB’s five-year strategic plan 2011 to 2015. EADB strategic focus for the next three years include support of regional integration efforts; food security; environment and natural resource management; skills development; infrastructural development and resource mobilization for the region.
Photo Courtesy of in2eastafrica.net