World Bank funds Africa's millenium goals projects


The World Bank has committed to fund development projects to help Africa meet and sustain Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) beyond 2015.

MDGs are eight global development targets that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.

They include eradicating extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.

Key sectors

The Bank said its funding would target key sectors including agriculture, health, and education.

Speaking in Kigali on Wednesday, World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said WB would double its annual aid to Africa to help the continent meet and sustain its development agenda beyond the set 2015.

Iweala impressed by continent’s economic outlook so far.

"We are impressed by the economic outlook of the continent so far, my organisation is going to double its contribution to support key sectors of the economy," Iweala said.

"The decision to expand our support is informed by the need to sustain millennium development projects beyond 2015," she said, adding that the Bank’s concern is to ensure stable infrastructure spreading out to remotest parts of the continent and reaching out everybody.

Iweala also urged African governments to invest in capacity building with special focus on women and youth to speed up development in rural areas.

Iweala spoke on the sidelines of a meeting to mark Africa Capacity Building Foundation’s 20th anniversary in Kigali, Rwanda.

The two-day event attended by heads of State and development institutions discussed the role of capacity in Africa development.

After deliberations on a wide range of topics including leadership and the challenges of leading in Africa and rebuilding after conflict, the Summit developed a Kigali Resolution.

The resolution will be presented at the AU summit in Malabo later this year. The meeting also used the summit to launch the Africa Capacity Indicators Report.

The report outlines the progress in capacity development on the continent and identifies the key areas of challenge.

Meanwhile, African Development Bank (ADB) Chief Executive, Mr Donald Kaberuka, has said the continent’s economy is set to grow some 6.0 per cent this year.

Speaking at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Kaberuka said the continent’s economy was on a strong comeback.

"The rebound is already here. Last year, ADB and the World Bank are expecting growth of between 4.5 and 5.0 per cent and around 6.0 per cent in 2011, thanks notably to exports picking up and to the price of agricultural products such as coffee and cocoa holding up," he said.