Powerful Coalition Launched to Drive African Development, Fueled by International Development Association (IDA)

On April 29 in Nairobi, Kenya, 19 African leaders and 32 finance ministers met to discuss ambitious economic reforms for accelerating the continent’s development. The summit, co-hosted by the government of Kenya and the World Bank, comes at a pivotal moment for Africa: the continent is poised to make a leap forward in development. 

After being hard hit by the recent polycrisis, Africa is bouncing back. The continent will soon have the world’s largest workforce. By 2050, one in four people will be African—and the continent will be home to a third of the world’s youth. With the youngest population, rapidly growing cities, abundant natural resources, and strong entrepreneurial spirit, Africa stands ready to achieve its potential. 

This requires investment, and there is no partner more trusted than the International Development Association (IDA), the world’s largest global solidarity fund for the poor. IDA has been a committed partner in Africa’s development for decades, fueling progress through grants and highly concessional loans, supporting strategic investments in building a skilled and healthy workforce, and nurturing job-generating industries. Of the 75 countries it supports, 39 are in Africa, with more than 70 percent of its resources flowing to the continent. 

Recognizing that IDA is at the heart of Africa’s transformation, the summit witnessed the forging of a powerful coalition of leaders, global youth, the private sector, and civil society who are calling for more donor funding ahead of IDA’s next replenishment (IDA21). The coalition expressed its commitment to a strong, inclusive, and sustainable recovery, in partnership with IDA: “Our people and we, the leaders of Africa, are impatient for change and we want to transform the continent at this moment of tremendous opportunities,” said Dr. William Ruto, President of Kenya. “IDA has been and must remain a dependable development partner for Africa, and we urge stronger donor contributions to IDA21 so that together we can drive transformational impact not only for a better Africa, but also for a better world.”

IDA’s country-driven model has tangible results that make a real impact. In the most recent IDA20 cycle, each $1.00 of donor contributions enabled $3.50 of impact. As a result of IDA support, between 2012 and 2023, 1.18 billion people around the world received essential health services, 117 million people gained access to improved water services, and 92 million people obtained new or improved electricity services.

IDA21—the 21st replenishment round since 1960—will work to improve lives with a particular focus on women and youth, increasing prosperity, combating climate change and preserving biodiversity, building resilient societies, accelerating digitalization, creating jobs, and building the infrastructure needed to support and sustain economic growth. These are priorities with particular relevance in Africa, where about 462 million people live in extreme poverty.

In a show of unity, leaders from a range of sectors at the summit joined the call for ambitious transformation in Africa, with a particular focus on supporting the continent’s young people. Sellah Bogonko, CEO of Jacob’s Ladder, who represents a cross-section of African youth, said “True leadership is not just about those in position but each one of us doing the impossible, every day, in our own little way. We young people are not merely asking what you can do for us. We are available to co-create solutions together with you—our elected leaders—with support from IDA.”

Ndidi Nwuneli, President of the ONE Campaign, said “IDA21 must be different. It must be transformative. This means that we must collectively work to make sure IDA21 is robust and ambitious and is delivered with transparency and accountability for Africa’s citizens, ensuring that we build stable and resilient economies for the future.”

Following the summit, the leaders published a communique setting out their firm commitment to strengthening governance, unlocking private sector potential and creating jobs, mobilizing domestic resources, delivering on climate change goals, prioritizing increased energy and digital access, and enhancing resilience to climate change and conflict.

World Bank President Ajay Banga reaffirmed the Bank’s support for the continent’s development and called for stronger commitments from the global donor community: “We are united by a shared vision for the future of Africa—a continent rich in diversity, culture, and potential, thanks to its young people and natural resources. These are the ingredients that can power our future. IDA has been a steadfast partner in Africa’s development journey, and this summit symbolizes our collective commitment to accelerating progress. This will require more from IDA, more from the World Bank Group, more from governments, and more from the private sector.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The World Bank Group.

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