Côte d’Ivoire: African Development Bank, KfW partner to implement electricity regulatory index

The African Development Bank and KfW Development Bank will be partnering to accelerate implementation of recommendations contained in the 2018 Electricity Regulators Index (ERI) report for Côte d’Ivoire’s energy sector.

Wale Shonibare

This partnership arrangement between both institutions was announced during a technical workshop hosted by the African Development Bank in Abidjan on Wednesday, 13 March 2019. KfW is a German state-owned development bank.

The workshop brought together key stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire’s energy sector to review institutional and regulatory developments and assess implementation of recommendations in the inaugural 2018 ERI report.

In his introductory remarks, Wale Shonibare, Director of Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulations at the Bank said: “Developing robust regulatory frameworks is required to ensure an enabling environment for investments in the electricity sector and to pave the path to universal access to energy in Africa.”

Launched in June 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Mauritius, the ERI is a diagnostic tool that highlights key areas in regulatory design and practice in Africa’s energy sector.

“The index provides a simple but powerful roadmap for policy makers and regulators to take actions to improve their regulatory frameworks and the attractiveness of the sector,” Shonibare said.

He observed that the 2018 Electricity Regulatory Index identified 13 key regulatory gaps across the 15 ERI participating countries, including Côte d’Ivoire. The report recommended specific interventions to address the gaps – which will be done through tailored technical assistance programs in participating countries.

Andreas Fikre-Mariam, Regional Director at KfW’s Abidjan office remarked that the KfW was mobilizing private investment in Côte d’Ivoire’s renewable energy sector and deepening cooperation between Germany and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, in the spirit of the G20 Compact for Africa.

“There are many projects underway that we are financing, including the Boundiali in Bouake, in collaboration with the African Development Bank… there is also a 10 million Euro grant from Germany to Côte d’Ivoire to promote the energy sector through sector reforms. This is to help achieve a major impact,” Fikre-Mariam explained.

Angaman Anoh from the Planning and Engineering department of Côte d’Ivoire Energies (CI-Energies) said energy industry stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire now better understand the implications of the ERI report. However, it is critical that “regulators and utilities are consulted and involved at the early stage of the preparation of the index,” Anoh said.

The workshop brought together representatives from the Ivorian Ministry of Energy, National Authority for the Regulation of the Electricity Sector (ANARE), CI-Energies, the Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency (ARSEL) in Cameroon, KfW and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The ERI is an initiative of the African Development Bank with partners like the African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR) and the Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA).

International lenders warn on capacity constraints in Africa but remain bullish on pro-investor and trade trends

Global and African financial heads identified country risk as the biggest challenge to their ability to lend more to African countries

John Lentaigne Chief Underwriting Officer, ATI_Roundtable 27 June 2018.JPG

John Lentaigne, Chief Underwriting Officer, ATI Roundtable (27 June 2018) (Source: African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) 

Global and African financial heads have identified country risk as the biggest challenge to their ability to lend more to African countries.

Speaking in Abidjan during a one-day forum on investment risks in Africa hosted by the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) (www.ATI-aca.org), experts acknowledged that the abundance of current liquidity in the market did nothing to alleviate the capacity constraints faced by most banks when doing business in Africa.

Lenders are bound by regulations that prevent them from lending significant amounts to sub-investment grade sovereigns, which is the case for most African countries.  Institutions such as ATI that can offer investment insurance can help to mitigate the risks and thereby bring added lending and investment capacity to African markets. Without an increased ceiling in limits, international lenders will continue to be constrained on the amounts they are able to lend both at the sovereign and corporate levels.

Experts attending the forum also noted positive movements in countries such as Ghana and Senegal for instance, which were recently put on positive watch by the rating agency S&P. This was largely based on the dividends anticipated from key infrastructure developments and investor-friendly policies. In Senegal, for example, the country has restructured its commercial laws, implemented a Public Private Partnership law that ensures all signed public contracts in the oil and gas sector are published and created a department of competition tasked with working hand in hand with investors.

Risk analysis experts at the conference cited Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe as countries to watch in the coming months based on strong reserves in Botswana, political transitions in the case of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, a strategy to transform its economy into a services hub in the case of Rwanda, and creating an enabling environment to attract investors in the case of Côte d’Ivoire.

Most government representatives at the meeting also noted their countries efforts to ramp up value addition in the agriculture sector along with an emphasis on removing barriers to trade within the continent. Jean-Louis Ekra, the former President of Afreximbank observed that Africa is in fact moving in a different direction than the current protectionist tendencies of Western countries. In contrast, Africa is uniting under the banner of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will become the world’s largest trade area.

While participants agreed that the risk perception in Africa is typically greater than the on-the-ground reality, they also recognized that making Africa less risky would require a concerted focus aimed at improving the overall business environment in order to address the risks that do exist.  According to a recent Moody’s report, 40 to 50% of defaults in developing markets are directly linked to country risks. During the forum, panellists discussed low-cost solutions that could help countries reduce their risk including ensuring fair adherence to existing regulations.

“One of our roles at ATI is to educate governments to make them aware of the elements that international investors consider in their assessment of country risks. If countries are made aware that any drastic changes they make to legislation, for instance, could be a key political risk factor, they may make better choices and create more fertile environments for the private sector,” commented John Lentaigne, ATI’s Chief Underwriting Officer. He added that “a stable investment climate can be demonstrably and directly linked to growth.”

Despite Africa’s perceived risks, ECGC, India’s export credit agency and international broker, BPL Global, who have a combined USD142 billion worth of exposures, noted a relatively low claims and reasonable recovery experience in Africa. Out of BPL’s USD42 billion in current exposures which is insured with international investment risk providers 8 billion of this exposure is in Africa, where the company has historically recorded USD230 million in claims of which USD123 million has subsequently been recovered.

International lenders and insurers commented on the importance of ATI’s participation to make projects bankable through its preferred creditor status and relationships with African governments. This was seen as ATI’s core value proposition.

In his address to participants, Pierre Guislain the Vice-President responsible for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization of the African Development Bank noted the Bank’s commitment to transform the relationship with ATI into a strategic partnership that can leverage its reach and help countries accelerate regional integration.

ATI, a multilateral investment and trade credit insurer posted record results in 2017 for the sixth consecutive year with USD10 million in profits representing a 55% increase over 2016 and USD2.4 billion in gross exposures.

AfDB made 5 billion CFA Francs to to capacitate the Regional Maintenance Training Center (CERFER)

The African Development Bank Group has made a grant of 5 billion CFA Francs, through its African Development Fund , to the Council of Understanding, to finance the reform of the Regional Maintenance Training Center (CERFER). 


Executive Secretary of the Council of the Agreement, Patrice Kouamé

Funding is part of the Training Integration Support Project (PAIF) in the road, railway and mining trades in the Council’s member countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Benin , Togo, Burkina Faso and Niger.

This funding will enable CERFER’s reform modules to be completed, including the restructuring of the management of the center; its total refurbishment and the construction of new premises; the acquisition of new equipment and materials; the launch of new training courses in the construction industry. The funds will also contribute to the introduction of modular training, the introduction of professional licensing streams, the strengthening of teaching staff capacity and the establishment of an appropriate communication policy.

The expected results are the training of a significant number of qualified technicians in the building and public works (construction) sectors, roads, railways and mines, as well as the improvement of the performances of the different actors of these sectors. sectors.

The Executive Secretary of the Council of the Agreement, Patrice Kouamé, co-signatory of the grant agreement, welcomed the “constant commitment” of the Bank to support the subregional organization and to accompany the CERFER in its vision to offer learners theoretical and practical training adapted to the needs of companies, thus facilitating the employability and integration of young people from the center. “The African Development Bank is the only organization that accompanies us with this huge donation. In doing so, it effectively translates its support for investing in human capital as a powerful driver of development, “he said .

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Director General of the Bank for West Africa, for her part, stressed the relevance of the PAIF, which she said will inject new momentum into CERFER: “The project comes rightly, by its capacity, not only to solve the problem of youth employment, but also to help meet the challenges of infrastructure development and regional integration, which are just as many major challenges for the continent . “

For Akin-Olugbade, even when jobs are available, young people often do not have the skills required by employers. In this dynamic, she says, “the project will help equip the West African region with skills to meet the needs of the economy in strategic areas of transportation and mining infrastructure. It will promote the creation of a critical mass of technicians and technicians and will garner the direct employment of approximately 8,000 young technicians trained by CERFER over the next ten years. “

Ouro-Djobo Samah, Director General of CERFER, also welcomed this donation from the African Development Bank, which will propel the center and transform it into a pole of excellence at the country level of the Council of Europe. the agreement and the subregion.

The CERFER is a specialized agency of the Council of the Agreement, based in Lome, Togo, and responsible for the training of technicians in the building trades and public works, road, railway and mining.

The Council of the Agreement was created on 29 May 1959 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the objective of promoting the economic development of its Member States, through the implementation of joint projects and programs likely to increase the well-being of their populations. It also aims to contribute to the strengthening of political relations between Member States, with a view to maintaining between them and in the West African subregion a climate of peace, security, solidarity and mutual understanding, necessary for their economic and social development.

Côte d’Ivoire: No Amnesty for Serious Crimes of 2010-11 Crisis

Should Not Include War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity

There should be no amnesty for those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations committed in Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-11 post-election crisis, 11 national and international human rights groups said on August 7, 2018.


A woman hides her face after recounting how pro-Ouattara forces killed two of her children and her brother during the post-election violence in Duékoué, western Côte d’Ivoire. Duékoué was site of one of the worst massacres of the crisis, but no one from the pro-Ouattara forces has been arrested for the crimes committed there. © 2011 Peter Dicampo

Contrary to all commitments for justice since 2011, President Alassane Ouattara announced on August 6, 2018 that he would grant an amnesty to 800 people accused of or convicted of crimes related to the 2010-11 crisis or subsequent attacks against the state, which could include people implicated in serious human rights crimes.

Ouattara said that the amnesty would not apply to 60 military members and members of armed groups who committed “blood crimes” during the post-election violence. Ivorian judges, however, have indicted far more than 60 people for crimes against humanity and war crimes related to the post-election crisis, including high-level military and political leaders from both sides of the conflict. It is now unclear who among these indictees will ultimately face justice.

“To decide, after seven years of judicial proceedings involving hundreds of victims and alleged perpetrators, that only 60 people will face justice is not only an arbitrary decision but will be an act of disrespect to victims if it allows perpetrators of war crimes and crimes humanity to escape prosecution,” the 11 organizations said.

The Ivorian government had created a National Commission of Inquiry (Commission nationale d’enquête (CNE)) to identify and document crimes perpetrated between 2010 and 2011, and a special investigation unit (Cellule spéciale d’enquête et d’instruction (CSEI)) to prosecute those responsible.

After years of work, the special cell has charged more than 150 people for “blood crimes”, including both Gbagbo and Ouattara allies. For the attack on Duékoué in March 2011, for example, where more than 300 people were killed by pro-Ouattara forces, some twenty people have been charged. More than 20 people have been indicted for the suppression of protests by Ouattara supporters in Abidjan by the Gbagbo-era security forces. Dozens of people, from both the Ouattara and Gbagbo camps, have also been charged for attacks in the Abidjan neighborhood of Yopougon during the post-election crisis, and another 80 indicted for the attack on Nahibly refugee camps in 2012, including Dozo traditional warriors and members of the Ivorian army.

International law mandates prosecutions for serious crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, to ensure victims’ rights to truth and justice are respected. Major international treaties to which Côte d’Ivoire’s is a party – the Convention against Torture, the Geneva Conventions, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – provide that allegedly responsible for serious crimes must be fairly prosecuted. An amnesty for serious crimes would also be contrary to the principles of the founding charter of the African Union and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

President Ouattara has repeatedly promised to deliver justice to victims, stating in April 2015 that: “Everyone responsible for atrocities will be tried…I find it unacceptable that people who killed, who burned people to death, or who raped women, continue to behave as if they are angels, as if they did nothing wrong.” On May 9, in response to a letter from our organizations, Côte d’Ivoire’s chief prosecutor committed to quickly organize trials related to the post-election crisis.

“If the Ivorian government goes back on repeated commitments to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, it will open the way for legal proceedings before national and international jurisdictions which prohibit amnesties for the most serious crimes,” the 11 organizations said. “The government should instead ensure consult with the Special Cell to ensure that the amnesty doesn’t apply to people charged with serious crimes.”

The 2010-2011 crisis began when then-incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to cede power to Ouattara following the November 2010 presidential elections. In the resulting five months of violence and armed conflict, at least 3,000 people were killed, and more than 150 women raped. Armed forces on both sides targeted civilians based on political – and at times, ethnic and religious – affiliation.

On the request of President Ouattara and the Ivorian government, the International Criminal Court is also investigating crimes committed by both pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces during the 2010-11 violence. Laurent Gbagbo is currently on trial at the ICC with a close ally, Charles Blé Goudé, for crimes against humanity.

The Ivorian government has so far refused to transfer Gbagbo’s wife, Simone, to The Hague, arguing that Ivorian courts are willing and able to try cases related to the post-election crisis. Simone Gbagbo herself was due to be retried by Côte d’Ivoire’s highest criminal court for war crimes and crimes against humanity after her March 2017 acquittal was overturned by the Supreme Court in July. However, Ouattara listed Simone Gbagbo, who was serving a 20-year sentences for other offenses related to the post-election crisis, as one of the people who would benefit from an amnesty, casting doubt on the willingness of the Ivorian justice system to try her for her alleged role in crimes against humanity or war crimes.

“Côte d’Ivoire’s history shows how impunity can perpetuate political violence and human rights abuses. Ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, an amnesty for the worst crimes of the 2010-11 post-election crisis would send a dangerous message that political leaders who resort to atrocities can avoid sanction,” said the 11 organizations.


Ligue ivoirienne des droits de l’Homme – LIDHO

Mouvement ivoirien des droits humains – MIDH

Action pour la protection des droits humains en Côte d’Ivoire – APDH

Réseau acteurs ivoiriens des droits humains – RAIDH

Coalition ivoirienne des défenseurs des droits humains – CIDDH

Club Union Africaine

Forum de la société civile ouest-africain Côte d’ivoire – FOSCAO-CI

Organisation des femmes actives de Côte d’Ivoire – OFACI

Human Rights Watch – HRW

Fédération internationales des droits de l’Homme – FIDH

Amnesty international – AI

The African Development Bank loans 20 million euros to Cabo Verde to boost local economic development


The African Development Bank and Cabo Verde have signed a 20 million euro loan agreement to revitalize the economy of the West African coastal island.

The loan, signed 2 August 2018 in Abidjan, is part of a two year programme of up to 40 million euros to be disbursed in two equal instalments in 2018 and 2019. The funds will help the new Cabo Verde Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development (2017-2021), which the Bank is supporting through its private sector competitiveness and local economic development programme.

“This programme aims to strengthen the contribution of the private sector and local entities to growth and job creation,” said Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Bank’s Director-General for West Africa. “It will help to facilitate business activity and competitiveness, will accelerate local development and will increase the contribution of decentralization to growth.”

“The signing of this agreement is very important for the consolidation of the Cabo Verde economy. The private sector competitiveness and local development programme will help to put our country’s growth on a sound footing.” Inácio Felino Rosa De Carvalho, Cabo Verde’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, said in response.

Carvalho added that the support would lead to an improved quality of life for the people of Cape Verde.

The Cabo Verde government has invested heavily in infrastructure in recent years in a bid to diversify the economy of the island. The challenge now is to empower the private sector to drive further growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

The Bank’s active portfolio in Cabo Verde, is worth over 85.4 million euros, disbursed to energy and transport projects as well as water and sanitation, agricultural and governance sectors.

The Republic of Cabo Verde is composed of 10 volcanic islands and eight islets located in the central Atlantic Ocean, some 450 kilometres west of Senegal. It has a land area of 4,033 square kilometres, and 700,000 square kilometres Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ). The population is estimated at 500,000, 55.7% of whom are located on the main Santiago Island.

AfDB wants greater focus on implementation, as African Green Revolution Forum begins in Abidjan

The seventh African Green Revolution Forum, taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from September 4-8, 2017, will focus on “Accelerating Africa’s Path to Prosperity: Growing Economies and Jobs through Agriculture”.


Agriculture is booming in Africa and holds the greatest opportunity to boost African economies, build rural economies, lift millions out of poverty, and create jobs – Akinwumi

The Forum is hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led institution focused on putting farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economies. AGRA is built on an alliance of partners that care about, commit to and invest in Africa’s agricultural transformation.

The ground is already ploughed. Together, let us now sow the seeds of hope and reap a harvest so plentiful in the years ahead.” – Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President

AGRF partners include the African Development Bank, the African Union, the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), AGRA, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mastercard Foundation, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), OCP Africa Group, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Syngenta, and YARA International.

The African Development Bank is proud to be a partner in the Forum in Abidjan.

“As we all converge on Abidjan for this year’s African Green Revolution Forum, our focus should be on implementation,” Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, said in a video statement.

Adesina noted that this year’s Forum comes as some African nations are witnessing drought and heightened food insecurity.

He stressed that the event presents an opportunity to push efforts to make Africa self-sufficient in food production and transform agriculture into a wealth-creating sector

“Agriculture is booming in Africa and holds the greatest opportunity to boost African economies, build rural economies, lift millions out of poverty, and create jobs,” he said.

AfDB is accelerating this development through its Feed Africa Strategy with planned investment of US $24 billion over the next 10 years.

The Bank invites partners, governments, private sector, and development institutions to work together to make this happen.

This year’s African Green Revolution Forum, considered to be the most important meeting on African agriculture, will be held under the patronage of the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara.

The Forum will bring experts and other stakeholders together to ensure that the importance of agriculture to African economies is not overlooked. Agriculture represents more than 60% of employment −making it essential to delivering on economic development visions for the continent and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The sixth African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2016 and attracted more than 1,500 delegates from 40 countries.

At AGRF 2016, many of Africa’s steadfast champions of agriculture pledged more than US $30 billion in investments to increase production, income and employment for smallholder farmers and local African agriculture businesses over the next 10 years.

AfDB is leading a campaign to unlock the continent’s food and agriculture market, which is projected to hit US $1 trillion by 2030

In the words of the AfDB President: “We must hurry. Africa’s time to become the global powerhouse for food and agriculture is now. We are already late.”

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