Libya: The African Development Bank supports a new generation of promising young leaders for a successful transition

One hundred and fifty-three emerging Libyan leaders have received certificates after completing a ten-day intensive leadership workhop in Istanbul, Turkey, organized by the African Development Bank.

Africa Development Bank President Akinwumi

The Tamayoz Residential programme, provided by Adam Smith International, exposed participants to leadership examples and success stories, provided deeper understanding of a leader’s responsibilities, transferred knowledge of the latest organizational leadership tools, and presented work-based assignments related to Libya’s challenges and solutions.

Tamayoz means distinction and uniqueness in Arabic.

The workshop which concluded Wednesday, included negotiation, team building, problem solving and decision-making. The course stimulated lively discussion on topics of particular importance to Libyans, bringing experts from the Middle East and North Africa region and further afield to highlight partnerships between the public, private and civil society organizations. Other themes discussed were economic diversification; encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship; peacebuilding and reconciliation; and local governance and development.

The exercise brought together participants from across Libya, as well as the public, private and civil society sectors.

Speaking at the close of the programme, Mohamed El Azizi, Bank Director General for North Africa, said that Tamayoz would help shape the future of Libya by contributing to improving service delivery and fostering long-term institutional effectiveness and efficiency, as well as improving cross-sectoral collaboration.” We are one of the first multilateral banks to do it,” he stated.

Dr. Moammer of the National Research Centre for Polmers said the program “opened new horizons, new relationships and stimulated communication between participants from different regions in Libya.”

Yacine Fal, Deputy Director General for North Africa, added that Tamayoz marked the first initiative by the African Development Bank to build a leadership cohort and was thrilled with the commitment shown by Libyan participants – “a first step to building a great leadership cohort ready to drive the country’s recovery and development,” she added.

The new graduates echoed the sentiment.

 “Tamayoz is a platform for emerging leaders to come together and learn about successful tools for building pioneering organizations in our society,” Abdul Qader Abdel Salam of the University of Sabha, said.

The Tamayoz programme is an initiative led by the African Development Bank and the Libyan government and implemented by ASI to support the political transition in Libya by strengthening the leadership capacity of its public, private and civil society sectors. It aims to build long-term institutional effectiveness, efficiency and prosperity. It also aims to improve service delivery through fostering future leaders and improving cross-sectoral collaboration in Libya.

In 2016, more than 1,200 Libyans took part in two e-learning courses conducted as part of the initial stage of the programme. The most promising participants were then invited to attend the advanced residential leadership workshop in Istanbul, Turkey.

African Development Bank and ICRC join forces to accelerate economic resilience in fragile contexts

The African Development Bank Group and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) signed a letter of intent on Wednesday 16th January 2019 at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan.

The letter commits the institutions to increase their collaboration to accelerate gender equality, build resilience, and provide improved economic opportunities in Africa’s transition countries.

“We recognise that security issues cannot be divorced from development. And that sustainable, healthy and inclusive economic development is not possible without security. We have agreed to bring together our respective strengths and expertise to build resilience, gender equality, economic opportunity and ultimately to improve the lives of millions of Africans in fragile environments,” said the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke.

During the signing ceremony Peter Mauer, President of the ICRC, emphasised the importance of leveraging both institutions’ complementary mandates. “The Bank’s main stakeholders are [African] states, and we work in places and regions where the state is absent for various reasons. This complementarity can bridge the security-development gap, producing more sustainable results and enhancing development impact”.

The letter, signed by Blanke and Mauer, followed several strategic and technical engagements between the two institutions. The African Development Bank’s Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society, Vanessa Moungar, recently joined a joint mission in Niger at the invitation of Peter Mauer and the ICRC.

The objective of the mission, which saw the delegation travel across the country from Diffa to Agadez, was to meet displaced people affected by shocks such as economic crises, conflicts or natural disasters and explore the potential for income-generating activities for women, girls and youth.

The collaboration with the ICRC helped the Bank to contact remote communities and review its projects and initiatives in the region. During the joint mission stops in Diffa and Agadez, Moungar engaged with the ICRC and the National Society of the Red Cross teams who are giving direct support to women by providing income-generating activity skills.

The new Bank-ICRC agreement opens the way for collaborative opportunities under the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) programme. AFAWA is a pan-African initiative with the overarching objective of bridging the finance gap for women in Africa and unlocking their entrepreneurial capacity.

Senegal: Handover of Dakar Regional Express Train

At an official ceremony for the handover of the first coaches for the railway on Monday, Senegalese President Macky Sall remarked that: “This is the first railway project in an independent Senegal after the Dakar-Rufisque line was built in 1883.”

The TER route will link Dakar with Blaise Diagne International Airport, via the new rapidly developing business centre of Diamniadio. The first phase of the €1 billion project received funding from the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the French Agency for Development, the French Treasury and Senegal.

 “We chose to position ourselves at the forefront of progress, right from the invitation to tender for the TER. Every carriage in this dual-mode electro-diesel train has air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. The people of Senegal deserve to travel in comfort and safety, and to save both time and money,” Sall said.

Work on the second phase, linking Diamniadio with Blaise Diagne International Airport, will start immediately after completion of the first section in June 2019.

According to the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, “This outstanding and transformative railway project makes Senegal a pioneer in the development of modern high-speed urban transport systems in West Africa.”

Senegal is the second country in West Africa, after Nigeria, to adopt a dual-mode (electric and diesel) mass rail transit system. When the Regional Express Railway becomes fully operational, it will take just 35 minutes to travel from Dakar to Diamniadio, half the time the 55-kilometer road trip currently takes during peak traffic hours.

“This is the largest-ever investment by the Islamic Development Bank in a Sub-Saharan Africa project, and it bears witness to our confidence in the country,” said Islamic Development Bank President Bandar Al Hajjar.

With a population of approximately three million, Dakar is home to 25% of Senegal’s total population. An efficient, safe and fast mass transit system, is a strategic response to the development challenges of the Senegalese capital.

Speaking at the event, French Secretary of State in the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said: “Senegal is a model of emergence. With this train link, you have shown that ‘impossible’ is not in the Senegalese vocabulary. What the people of Senegal have now, is an advanced Regional Express Train that is on the cutting edge of technology.”

The African Development Bank is committed to strengthening urban connectivity and financing road networks and public transport infrastructure.

Since the Bank started operations in Senegal in 1972, it has supported 108 operations with an estimated value of US$2.9 billion.

African Development Bank approves US$14.12 million to support Nigeria’s membership in African Trade Insurance (ATI) Agency

Once membership formalities in ATI are finalized, Nigeria could benefit from gross political and commercial risk insurance cover on total investments and trade amounting to over US$ 5 billion by 2020

The African Development Bank Group, through its Trade Finance operations, has approved a US$14.12 million facility to support the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s membership in the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI). This is a critical and mandatory step to enable ATI commence its operations in Nigeria. Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, joins 14 other African countries that have already signed up to ATI membership.

Once membership formalities in ATI are finalized, Nigeria could benefit from gross political and commercial risk insurance cover on total investments and trade amounting to over US$ 5 billion by 2020. The catalytic effect of using limited financial resources in this way is undoubtedly massive.

The approved facility complements ongoing and planned interventions geared at building institutional capacity and improving the resilience of the Nigerian economy. Joining ATI will enable Nigeria to leverage its position to mobilize additional resources to finance trade, especially importation of essential goods such as medicines and communications equipment, to rehabilitate basic infrastructure and strengthen the country’s productive sector.

ATI’s mandate is to provide medium to long term credit and political risk insurance, as well as other risk mitigation products to its member countries and related public and private sector actors.

These products directly encourage and facilitate foreign direct investment as well as local private sector investment in regional member countries and intra- and extra-African trade. ATI catalyzes private sector investments in infrastructure projects, thereby promoting economic integration of participating countries into regional markets.

This financing aligns with four of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, namely:  Light Up and Power Africa, Industrialize Africa, Feed Africa and Integrate Africa. As a trade finance facilitation initiative, this financing will support operations that are crosscutting and multi-sectoral in nature and will have an impact on agribusiness, infrastructure development, electricity generation, telecommunications and manufacturing.

According to the Director of the Financial Sector Department, Stefan Nalletamby, “The Bank seeks to achieve its ambitious development mandate by working with and through other strategic partners, and where possible, by supporting the development of strong and viable African institutions such as ATI. This financing scales up the work of ATI by supporting the beneficiary RMCs to become members.”

ATI ( is a pan-African institution that provides political risk insurance to companies, investors, and lenders interested in doing business in Africa. Formed in 2001 under the leadership of COMESA, with funding and technical support from the World Bank and subsequently the African Development Bank, ATI has grown into a major global player in the export credit agency landscape, and it has recorded significant impact in its existing member countries. Within primary sectors such as energy, infrastructure (which includes road and construction and rehabilitation, the insurance industry and telecommunications).  ATI has supported over US$ 22.96 billion worth of trade and investment in its RMCs. 

African Development Bank to raise over US$7 billion from capital markets for investment in African economies in 2019

Bank continues to build its profile in the capital markets for cost-effective resources to finance projects and programs in Regional Member Countries

The African Development Bank’s Board has approved the institution’s 2019 borrowing program to the tune of US$7.24 billion from capital markets.

The Bank accesses a wide array of capital markets with the majority of its borrowing in US dollars and Euros as well as issuances in other public markets such as Australian dollars and Pound sterling.

Africa’s premier Development finance institution maintains an active presence in the socially responsible investment arena and continues to be a regular issue of Green and Social Bonds. These products serve to satisfy increasing demand for impact investment but also allow the Bank to highlight its development mandate and promote sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Institution has also used its ‘High 5’ operational priorities as a platform to continue the issuance of theme bonds. These include an inaugural ‘Integrate Africa’ bond, a ‘Feed Africa’ bond awarded Asia Pacific Deal of the Year by mtn-i, more than forty ‘Improve the Quality of the Life for the People of Africa’ bonds, and two taps of its ‘Light Up and Power Africa’ bond.

The Bank is keen to innovate and diversify its product range and, as the financial markets continue to look to a future after Libor, was able to combine innovation with its social responsibility program and issue the first ever Green SOFR-linked bond, in November.

The African Development Bank will continue to promote the development of African Capital markets with the issue of local currency denominated debt to facilitate the financing of its local currency operations, alongside other initiatives.

“We continue to raise our profile in the capital markets to provide cost-effective resources to finance projects and programs on the African continent. We have a strong track record, a diversified funding profile, investors across the world and the benefits of a AAA rating to strongly support the African Development Bank mandate,” the Bank’s Treasurer, Hassatou N’Sele said.

The African Development Bank is rated triple-A by all the major international rating agencies and enjoys several solid ESG (Environmental Social and Governance) ratings.

In 2017, the Bank disbursed US$7.51 billion to finance projects and programs in its Regional Member Countries, exceeding its target for non-sovereign operations by 56%.

Tunisia Trains first set of Drone pilots for agricultural productivity

The training which focused on handling, maintenance and the security aspects of flying drones, took place in Tunis from 19-30 November 2018

Eight pilots have successfully passed their drone flight training in Tunisia following a two-week intensive training period organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tunisia, the African Development Bank ( and Busan Techno Park.

The training which focused on handling, maintenance and the security aspects of flying drones, took place in Tunis from 19-30 November 2018. The eight were the first batch out of 40 candidates selected for the exercise, which envisages training a total of 400 young Tunisians by 2021.

The project will also see the setting up of a training center equipped with training drones as well as computer simulation tools for drone control. This center is expected to be upgraded to a center of excellence in drone technology. The training also focused on promoting drone-centered activities in Tunisia in view of promoting efficiency and effectiveness.

“It is very good training. I want to share my experience. I would like to participate in this project and contribute for the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in my country Tunisia and my region, Africa,” said Lazhar Meskine, an air traffic management engineer, who was among the trainees.

After accumulating 20 hours of flight time and passing the practical flight, they obtained a “Drone Pilot Certificate” recognised by the Tunisian government. The four best trainees from this first batch will undergo further training for eight weeks to accumulate 100 hours of flight time. This will make them eligible to take the certification examination and qualify as drone pilot trainers.

The participants were highly enthusiastic about the training.

 “I have also learned many things through Tunisian trainees. It gives us a great chance to understand the local situation for further projects by using drone technologies,” their instructor, Mr. Yong-ju Seo, added.

The pilot project on the use of drones for agricultural development projects in the Sidi Bouzid region ( (central Tunisia), is financed by a grant from the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) (, under the management of the African Development Bank and Busan Techno Park. Busan Techno Park has already tested the drones for efficacy in managing similar urban projects.

Korea ( is a leading country in the development and use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for real-time data collection and processing. Drones have been used in agriculture to provide fast and accurate data, helping to improve decision-making at all stages of a project, from preparation to implementation and evaluation.

Empower women to help save Africa from climate change

Africa must unlock the power of its women and girls if it is to adapt to climate change, cope with disasters and build its green energy sector

That is the message from African delegates as the world prepares to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change in Katowice, Poland, this week.

Research shows that when women are involved in decision making, agreements on the environment are more likely to be ratified and projects around natural resources, such as water, are more likely to succeed. 

If given access to education and finance, African women can contribute to finding technological solutions and driving the continent’s renewable energy industry too. 

“When you empower women in the context of climate change you empower a family, a community and a country,” says Dana Elhassan, senior gender expert at the African Development Bank (, which allocates international funds to development projects. 

“You cannot solve a problem with half the team. A lot of the unpaid work that women do, such as collecting firewood and water, and caring for the family, are massively affected by climate change – so we have to make sure adaptation initiatives address their needs, vulnerabilities and potential.”

Women as agents of change

Studies show that when women are part of decision making, ratification of multilateral agreements on the environment are more likely, adds Mafalda Duarte, head of the $8.3 billion Climate Investment Fund, one of the largest climate financing instruments in the world. 

There is also strong evidence that women play a vital role in dealing with disasters by mobilising communities – something that will become increasingly important as climate change advances, she says.  

“Discourse is quite tilted to considering women as victims of climate change – but we are agents of change and if we are perceived as such this will make a big difference,” says Ms Duarte. 

“Our empowerment represents greatly under-utilised opportunities to build our economies and tackle climate change.”

When women are empowered – given access to finance, assets and decision making – there are big impacts across sectors, she adds. 

“Renewable energy is traditionally seen as a male sector but if you are deliberate in giving access to women, they become entrepreneurs and help us push forward that agenda,” says Ms Duarte. 

Women can drive business and technology solutions

When women are empowered equally to men there is a massive leap forward in economic gains: a recent McKinsey study found that if women were participating economically as much as men, they would be adding 28 trillion dollars to global GDP by 2025.

In Africa, lack of access to finance has resulted in an estimated $42 billion financing gap

for women entrepreneurs across business value chains.

Yet unlocking African women’s ingenuity and giving them access to finance could generate technological advancements that help deal with climate change, believes the African Development Bank. 

As mobile phone technology has proven, Africa is capable of leapfrogging into an era of digitisation, which minimises risks and cuts costs of doing business. 

African women have shown potential to compete in this digital work-space – Mfarm, AppsTech, JuaKali, Nandimobile, Hehe Ltd, Obami, DotNxt, are only a few of the women-led tech startups in Africa listed by Forbes.

“If we women are given the right platforms, we will achieve the change we wish to see in the world,” says Ms Duarte. 

Unlocking investment in African women holds incredible return and transformational impact

potential. Women form the backbone of African economies, accounting for a majority of small- and medium-sized businesses and dominating the agriculture sector as primary producers and food processors,

COP24 is the 24th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year countries are preparing to implement the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the world’s global warming to no more than 2C.