By G9ija

The African heads of state and governments have called for a replenishment of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA20) of at least $100 billion by the end of 2021 to meet with aspirations for the continent.

In a statement by the World Bank, the call was made by 13 African leaders during a one-day meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday.

The leaders said the fund will help scale-up investments in human capital, increase job creation, and expand access to COVID vaccines.

They said this is crucial to help the African population recover from shocks of the pandemic, get out of extreme poverty, and build a more resilient and inclusive future.

Alassane Ouattara, Côte d’Ivoire president, said: “The funding process that begins in Abidjan this week, will conclude at the end of this year with a policy and financial package to support specific projects in the 74 IDA countries over the next three years.

“The goal to mobilize an IDA20 replenishment envelope of at least $100 billion, for three years, would be the largest amount raised in IDA’s history.

“This is a good opportunity to demonstrate that solidarity is effectively essential for the good of all and that we can act together to return to the path of income convergence that we were on prior to the pandemic and build a safer and prosperous world.

“We know that when the World Bank has the backing of all its stakeholders, it has the capacity and oversight to make a difference”.

Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank managing director for operations, said: “Today we heard from the Heads of State how this pandemic has affected their countries and their need for stable future financing to meet their development ambitions. IDA is a big part of financing and recovery solutions for all these countries.

“An ambitious IDA20 will be a powerful force helping countries with a green and inclusive recovery to get back to the 2030 goals”.

The meeting was attended by 23 African leaders, including Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.

It was also attended by regional heads of the West African Economic and Monetary Union, Economic Commission for West Africa, Central African Economic and Monetary Community, African Union; and World Bank Group leadership and representatives of IDA donor governments.