African Development Bank ranks fourth on global index of transparency amidst internal corruption claims

African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina speaks during an interview with Reuters in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania August 17, 2019. Picture taken August 17, 2019. REUTERS

ABIDJAN —The African Development Bank has been ranked fourth out of 47 global development institutions by the Publish What You Fund on its Aid Transparency Index.

The Index is the only independent measure of aid transparency among the world’s major development agencies and ranked AfDB in the highest category of transparency alongside other world-class institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and UNDP. It has produced the index since 2011. “We congratulate the African Development Bank Sovereign Portfolio on achieving fourths place in the 2020 Aid Transparency Index. As large quantities of aid are being reallocated to deal with the Covid-19 emergency, the transparency of international aid is more important than ever,” CEO of Publish What You Fund Gary Forster said.

The ranking is based on several criteria, including finance and budgets, basic information data, organisational planning and performance.

This comes at a time the AfDB is battling internal wrangles after some employees accused its president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, of multiple abuses and breaches of the bank’s code of ethics.

Dr Adesina has denied the accusations, terming them “spurious and unfounded allegations” that will not distract him from discharging his mandate of leading the institution. In the new Index, which covers the 2019 year, AfDB scored 95.5 out of 100 on transparency, a significant improvement on its score for 2018. “It is promising to see an increase in the quantity, quality and timeliness of aid data now being shared by a broad cross section of the world’s major aid agencies. As we work together to fill the gaps in the aid data landscape, we look forward to exploring how we can best meet the demand for data and data engagement Forster said.

AfDB acting Senior Vice President Swazi Tshabalala said he was delighted with the achievement.

“It crowns this institution’s commitment to transparency at a time when it has never been so important. With such large volumes of funding now being assigned to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, it is crucial for our citizens to know how much, where and when the African Development Bank is investing in Africa’s development.”

In March, AfDB announced has raised $3 billion in a three-year bond to help alleviate the economic and social impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.

Kenya has also received  €188 million loan to support efforts to respond to the pandemic and mitigate the related economic, health and social impacts.

Togo has also received $3 million in loan resources to help purchase agricultural inputs to enhance food security in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, while Seychelles has received $10 million.

It has also given €88 million loan to Cameroon as direct budget support to finance the country’s Covid-19 crisis response.

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