As the IDA (International Development Association) for Africa Heads of State Summit hosted by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank kicks off in Nairobi, Kenya, ONE is calling on all African leaders to make a demand for an ambitious replenishment of the World Bank’s IDA fund — the world’s largest source of affordable finance for developing countries— which is critical for supporting vulnerable African countries in their recovery from current challenges and supporting their development priorities.

The last 6 decades of IDA financing have enabled considerable investments in the social sectors, particularly in education, health and social protection. This work has been important, and it is critical for African governments to use this moment to maintain momentum on the progress made in those areas and to start pushing for greater investment in economic transformation. IDA must invest in helping countries transform their economies and remain a lifeline that puts African countries in the driving seat.

Secondly, investment in regional integration such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement should be prioritised. Investments into value propositions such as these are critical in building the kind of connectivity Africa needs to trade within the continent, foster greater economic independence, and position itself to provide climate solutions for itself and the world. The continent cannot do it in isolation – a collaborative effort that starts with a fully-resourced IDA is needed to enable African countries to  withstand the aftershocks of the previous polycrisis and the uncertainties ahead.

As African leaders meet for the IDA Africa Heads of State Summit and reflect on its efficacy, ONE and 14 other civil society organisations, think tanks and networks in development finance have sent out a memorandum urging Heads of State to:

  1. Make an explicit call for an IDA21 replenishment of at least $100 billion, substantial enough to put IDA on track to triple its financing basket to $279 billion by 2030. This will require donor contributions to IDA between $28-30 billion.
  2. Clearly outline a set of policy priorities and reforms for IDA.
  3. Commit to increase citizen participation in the deployment of more transparent funds within African countries.
  4. Insist that IDA becomes a more effective driver of economic transformation.
  5. Urge IDA to work across borders and take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
  6. Make a powerful and persuasive case for IDA donors to increase their commitments throughout this year’s IDA21 replenishment process, including through sharing examples of IDA’s importance and impact in respective African countries.
  7. Send a strong message to the World Bank and its major shareholders that food and nutrition, smallholder agriculture, and food systems transformation should be at the heart of IDA21.
  8. Capitalize on AU membership in the G20 to put IDA on the agenda of all G20 convenings and to champion calls for fairer governance structures within Multilateral Development Banks that reflect Africa’s growing importance.

Serah Makka, ONE in Africa Executive Director said: “IDA is crucial now given the fiscal constraints many countries are experiencing after back-to-back economic shocks. The design of IDA, a demand driven, and country directed instrument, has the potential to mitigate short term needs and long-term stability. Africa can shape whether IDA is well used within their countries. The Head of States Summit is more than just a Summit. It serves as a demand signal from Africa, and it needs to be clear and compelling to the world bank, donor countries and African citizens.”

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *