The U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said The United States Government will continue its partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to deliver on its potential and also in supporting African countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement seen by Nairametrics, Secretary Mnuchin stated this during the 2020 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group.
He added that the economic impacts of the pandemic would force most of Africa into recession for the first time in 25 years, even as “weaker tax revenues will drive fiscal deficits wider across Africa both this year and next.”
In view of the foregoing, Mnuchin proposed that expansionary policies are needed to offset the economic consequences of necessary lockdown measures. This is because even though “the international community has aggressively responded in providing debt payment suspension through the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative and emergency financing, the regional and global economic outlook remains uncertain.”
He went on to “encourage countries to treat this crisis as an opportunity to improve debt management and pursue structural reforms that lay the foundation for stronger medium-term growth and economic resilience.”
Secretary Mnuchin said the AfDB potential to improve the lives of Africans is now more relevant than ever before, as the AfDB is an essential source of support for the continent during the economic downturns.
He praised the AfDB’s management for taking steps to meet its end of the year deadline for an updated financial sustainability model, which would enable the Bank maintain capital adequacy ratios above its thresholds for ten years.
He urged that more work is to be done in the areas of an analytical effort to ensure the Bank is more cost-effective with its operations.
“The Bank must do more to manage its resources more wisely and ensure through the Total Compensation Review that it offers a competitive and cost-effective value proposition to staff. “
He added that transparency and independent functions of the Bank, including audit and evaluations, must be given the necessary resources to operative effectively as the AfDB’s framework must be upgraded to bring its standards to global level.
“The United States will continue working together in partnership to deliver on the potential of the African Development Bank Group and to support African countries in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and advancing their development goals,” he said.