The African Development Bank and African Development Fund on Wednesday approved a framework for $122.55 million to clear Somalia’s arrears, paving the way for the Bank Group to fully reengage with Somalia and opening opportunities for enhanced financing for the country.
The historic Framework for Somalia’s Arrears Clearance and a Policy-based Operation was approved at a meeting of the Boards of Directors held Wednesday.
The framework is premised on Somalia having secured donor support to clear all arrears to the Bank Group. This will result in the lifting of sanctions on the country, opening up new finance opportunities.
In response to the decision, the Finance Minister of Somalia, Dr. Abdirahman Beileh, said, “the African Development Bank has accompanied Somalia through the difficult reforms, which can only make Somalia a better place for all Somalis. We are committed to continuing our reforms as we have seen their benefits to our governance systems and capacity to manage our economy, and, more importantly, to improving government accountability to the people.”
The Bank plans to immediately resume normal cooperation with the Federal Government of Somalia as soon as it clears its arrears to the Bank Group. Additional financial resources will be provided to support ongoing and new reforms necessary for Somalia to reach Completion Point under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
“It is a historic day for us as a Bank. I think collectively we should be very proud of what has happened…difficultiescannot be allowed to exist forever.. because it defeats the very purpose of why we are here to serve,” President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina said, commenting on the approval. “The sacrifices of the Somali people under the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia during the implementation of difficult and wide-ranging reforms has been recognized by the wider international community.”
The Bank commits to supporting the country towards reaching completion point, bearing in mind that more reforms to advance the national development agenda to consolidate peace, ensure inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty are still needed,” Khaled Sherif, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, added.