Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11 May 2023 - On the sidelines of the ongoing 2023 Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Al Jasser, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), met with Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), where the two leaders exchanged views over ways and means to jointly strengthen cooperation and tackle global challenges.
H.E. Dr. Al Jasser expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between IsDB and AfDB, noting that the two institutions have cumulatively co-financed projects worth over US$ 8.3bn in their 27 common member countries.
He also acknowledged the adverse impacts of the ongoing geopolitical and trade challenges as well as the global food and energy market dislocations amidst tightening monetary policies in advanced countries to contain inflation. H.E. Dr. Al Jasser asserted that these successive external shocks have compounded the fiscal constraints and elevated debt levels in many countries, leading to the specter of another debt crisis in many African countries, especially Low-Income Countries (LICs).
On the issue of global food security, H.E. Dr. Al Jasser highlighted that IsDB Group and its Arab Coordination Group (ACG) partners have committed a minimum amount of US$10 billion in response to the global food crisis, with IsDB Group set to contribute US$ 10.5 billion to this commitment through 2025, in addition to US$ 20 billion of previous investments in this sector. He underlined that IsDB/ACG funding aims to mitigate the impact of global food market shocks in the short term and to support clients in ramping up investment in food production and agricultural value chains in the long term, with Special Agro-Processing Zones providing an ideal vehicle to achieve this goal.
Regarding climate change and financing crises, H.E. Dr. Al Jasser stressed the importance of addressing the water-agriculture-energy nexus in light of climate change, especially in the Sahel region, and the need to help African countries mitigate the impact of low-carbon and digital transitions to accelerate their development process. He elaborated that IsDB is planning to invest up to US$7.8 billion in agriculture and rural development in Africa over the 5-year period 2023-2027 and that climate finance is set to represent 35% of IsDB's annual commitments by 2025, with 65% of climate finance for adaptation.
In addition, the IsDB President highlighted the landmark Arab Coordination Group commitment of US$ 24 billion for climate finance through 2030 announced at COP27 in November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which will support the acceleration of energy transition, the increased resilience of food, transport, water, and urban systems, and the promotion of energy security in partner countries. IsDB and ACG partners aim to leverage additional financing to de-risk and catalyze private investment through blended finance and guarantees.
H.E. Dr. Al Jasser emphasized that these efforts are part of IsDB's commitment to promoting sustainable development and addressing the challenges facing its member countries, particularly in Africa, and that cooperation with AfDB will continue to be an important part of these efforts.