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AfDB chief eyes cooperation with AIIB on Africa infrastructure

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Arab Today, arab today AfDB chief eyes cooperation with AIIB on Africa infrastructure

African Development Bank's
Beijing - XINHUA

The African Development Bank's (AfDB) president Donald Kaberuka has lauded the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), expecting to "work together" to cope with infrastructure challenges in Africa.

"I sense that the AIIB would be a game changer in international financial architecture," Kaberuka, who attended a seminar hosted by a Chinese think tank Center for China and Globalization in Beijing, told Xinhua Monday.

Kaberuka believes that the AIIB, as a major cooperation partner of the AfDB and other financial institutions, will provide a new source of development funding to the increasing need of countries around the globe.

The AIIB, with authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, is designed to finance infrastructure construction, as many countries do not have the capacity to fund the infrastructure upgrades they need.

On July 10, multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank and the AfDB, and the International Monetary Fund signaled plans to extend more than 400 billion dollars in financing, especially in the poorest and most fragile countries, over the next three years.

However, more is needed. Investment needs in infrastructure alone reach up to 1.5 trillion dollars a year in emerging and developing countries, according to a joint statement from the institutions.

According to Kaberuka, there is an estimated annual infrastructure funding gap of 50 billion dollars in his continent at present. Thus "we should work with the AIIB closely, ensuring the money being put into the right place," said Kaberuka.

On the continent, only South Africa and Egypt, among the total 57 prospective founders, signed the charter for AIIB on July 1.

"Though the AIIB is fundamentally established to deal with Asian countries, it is an open institution and I will be more than willing to work with it in Africa's infrastructure sector," Kaberuka said.

Kaberuka also noted that China and Africa have a long history of sound collaboration.

China joined the AfDB in 1985. In 2014, the People's Bank of China and AfDB signed a 2-billion-dollar co-financing fund known as the Africa Growing Together Fund, which is used alongside the AfDB's own resources to finance eligible sovereign and non-sovereign guaranteed development projects in Africa.

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