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The AfDB and Negotiating Finance Hegemonies: Journeying towards its Origins of Industrial Development and Regionalisation

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Abstract

This article examines the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) engagement with industrial development and associated investment as part of continental integration across time, including under the leadership of Akinwunmi Adesina, who was first elected into post as President of AfDB in 2015 and re-elected for a second term in August 2020. In doing so, this article considers the significance and influence of foreign capital to the Bank’s work.
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 1
The AfDB and Negotiating Finance Hegemonies:
Journeying towards its Origins of Industrial
Development and Regionalisation
Eka Ikpe
African Leadership Centre
King’s College London
United Kingdom
Online Article
This article examines
the African Development
Bank’s (AfDB) engagement
with industrial development and
associated investment as part of
continental integration across time,
including under the leadership of
Akinwunmi Adesina, who was rst
elected into post as President of
AfDB in 2015 and re-elected for
a second term in August 2020. In
doing so, this article considers the
signicance and inuence of for-
eign capital to the Bank’s work.
Examining the control of nance
offers some scope for analysing the
US rejection of AfDB’s govern-
ance processes in the management
of misconduct allegations against
Adesina and the subsequent request
for an externally driven process in
June 2020. An independently led
panel vindicated the AfDB govern-
ance process and Adesina in July
2020. The US is the second larg-
est shareholder of the Bank after
Nigeria. This concern with nance
is pertinent and timely given the
continental policy engagement on
this theme.1
The AfDB was established
in 1964, with the purpose of
supporting economic and social
development on the African
continent. From its origins, larger
economies played inuential
roles from Nigeria hosting the
inaugural meeting in 1964 to
Cote d’Ivoire hosting the Bank’s
headquarters, with an interim 10-
year period, 2003–2013, relocation
to Tunisia due to civil conict
in Cote d’Ivoire. Until 1972, the
Bank’s membership included only
independent African countries. Yet
by 2015 its membership comprised
all but Eritrea plus 23 non-
regional members. The expansion
of membership beyond African
countries started in 1972 with non-
regional lender members joining
the African Development Fund
(AfDF) and then the AfDB in 1982
(AfDB 2013).
This expanded membership was
arguably in recognition of the
hegemonic control of nance
by industrialised economies
particularly in the global north
although it also includes non-
regional members in Asia and
the Middle East. Broadening
membership from regional to non-
regional members was extensively
contested. The result of such
contentions included limitations to
non-regional members’ votes and
control to one-third within AfDB
and half within AfDF. However,
the debt crisis of the 1980s and
1990s and the Bank’s increasingly
risky regional debtors forced an
increased voice for non-regional
lender members and raised their
AfDB voting power to 40 per cent
(Babb 2009: 31). These changes
are noted as a critical juncture in
challenging the hitherto inuence
of African members vis-à-vis non-
regional lender members and the
‘increased surveillance by those
outside that limited the extent to
which the Bank could maintain
an Africa-driven development
agenda’ vis-à-vis the direction
of global development policy
(Mingst 2015: 82).
The article continues with three
sections as follows. First, it consid-
ers the theoretical arguments that
have underscored the signicance
of industrial development for Afri-
can transformation with emphasis
on critical African perspectives.
Second, it examines the AfDB’s
trajectory of engagement with in-
dustrial development, particularly
with attention to infrastructural in-
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 2
vestment and the ideological shifts
that have underscored this. Third,
it offers analysis of contemporary
engagement with industrial de-
velopment as interlinked with re-
gionalisation with attention to the
political economy dynamics of he-
gemonic control of nance. Here
it also presents a brief case study
on AfDB industrial infrastructural
nance and the wider industrial de-
velopment and potential regionali-
sation outcomes.
Critical reections on
industrial development,
regionalisation and nance
for socio-economic
transformation in Africa
The theoretical argument for struc-
tural transformation and industrial
change as central to development
is rooted in classical development
economic thought across structur-
alist and dependency schools. This
approach underscored African-
centred considerations of socio-
economic transformation (Adesina
2020). It is concerned with the dy-
namic economies of scale of the
manufacturing sector, the higher
income elasticity of demand for
manufactured goods (relative to
the primary sector) and a particular
aptitude for applying science and
technology and novel approaches.
Structuralists, for instance, have
been clear on the need for capital
investments to support industrial
transformation and the design
and creation of relevant institu-
tions (Lewis 1954; Gerschenkron
1962; Rosenstein-Rodan 1946;
Hirschman 1958). These salient
arguments have endured but have
been critiqued in various ways in-
cluding for ignoring the structural
and embedded inequalities within
the global political economy that
have entrenched the global south
as suppliers of raw materials.
Dependency theorists responded
to the argument of structural
inequalities in the global political
economy by insisting that factors
such as colonial legacies that
spurred unequal patterns of
exchange need to be disrupted to
enable a drive towards industrial
change. On this account, the
Prebisch-Singer thesis offers up
the argument for infant industry
protection as necessary for altering
terms of trade conditions that
traditionally located global south
and particularly African contexts
as raw material exporters and
higher value manufactured goods
importers (Prebisch 1950; Singer
1950). Although diminished in
some quarters, the school’s core
arguments on the problem of
unequal patterns of exchange in the
global economy have prevailed.
This is articulated in the contested
negotiations of the European
Union–Africa, Caribbean and
Pacic Countries Economic Part-
nership Agreements, which have
been regarded as reinforcing
colonial terms of trade patterns
that position African economies
as exporters of primary products
to Europe and importers of
manufactured goods and services
from Europe (Ikpe 2017).
Critical political economist, Samir
Amin, argued for a more radical re-
structuring of Africa’s engagement
with the global economy. He pro-
posed reprioritising internal mass
markets and exchange as a basis
for altering Africa’s interaction
with the global economy (Amin
1974; 1987). He saw structural
global inequality as connected also
to other factors including techno-
logical dependence. Kvangraven
(2019) shows the continued rel-
evance of these ideas in the Afri-
can context and beyond. Consider-
ing the limitations of quite small
internal national markets on the
African continent, regionalisation
and regionalism would potentially
offer an option for articulating a fo-
cus on internal, albeit regional and
continental, markets.
Claude Ake (1988: 160–161)
claried the signicance of
regional cooperation to provide
a more robust base to negotiate
with multinational corporations
and international organisations and
expand market size to facilitate
industrial change. However,
he offered a useful critique in
the tendency of regionalism
and regionalisation to prioritise
interaction with the core, i.e.
former metropoles at the expense of
horizontal intra-African priorities
citing the challenges between
Francophone and Anglophone
Africa. The co-opting of the planned
ECOWAS Eco, by the Union
économique et monétaire ouest
africaine [West African Economic
and Monetary Union], comprised
largely of the Francophone former
French colonies, to replace the
hitherto CFA Franc in 2020 is
another notable and contemporary
case in point.2 This critique was
also levelled at the operation of
the New Partnership for African
Development in entrenching
unequal trade relationships and
prioritising debt repayment (Taylor
2006; Adesina 2004).
Ake (1988: 162) maintained that
regional cooperation and develop-
ment had the potential to under-
score socio-economic transforma-
tion through product-sharing and
rationalisation and high levels of
economic policy coordination that
could diversify and industrialise
economic structures. These argu-
ments were shared by the foremost
voice on regionalisation in Africa,
Adebayo Adedeji. He argued that
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 3
regionalisation was imperative for
challenging the impacts of ‘dis-
possession, colonisation, depend-
ence and marginalisation’ (Adedeji
2002: 47). In the 1980 Lagos Plan
of Action that he led, socio-eco-
nomic transformation was to be
based on regionalism and region-
alisation as collective self-reliance,
linked also to internally located in-
dustrial development (OAU 1980).
Finance is of course critical to
industrial policy and classical
development economics theory
articulates this in the signicance
of savings as well as complex
institutional structures and systems
for industrial development (Lewis
1954). Ikpe (2014) highlights the
particular role that controlling
nance has played in underscoring
industrial policy and strategies
in developmentalist approaches
to development. Extending this
idea to supranational contexts
especially in global south spaces
we can consider the emergence of
regional and indeed continental
systems for enabling access to
nance for transformation. The
Lagos Plan of Action articulated
an important role for nance
and strengthening the African
Development Bank in national
and regional industrialisation
processes for investments, projects
and technology acquisition (OAU
1980: 19, 21–22, 72).
This reality underscored the im-
petus for establishing the Bank.
The AfDB was consonant with the
continent’s commitments to unity
and self-reliance in the independ-
ence period exemplied also in the
form of closed membership to Af-
rican countries and in negotiations
around more equitable representa-
tion of larger and smaller states at
its inception (Barnes 1984: 152;
Ebong 1974: Ch 3). Beyond Africa,
Helleiner (2019) reects on histori-
cal systems of multilateral devel-
opment nance in Asia and Latin
America to underscore visions of
such structures as anti-imperialist.
Locating the signicance of
nance for development within
debates on unequal patterns of
exchange, Amin (2014) was clear
on the challenge of access to
nance in peripheral contexts due
to the dominance and control of
the global north in this sphere. The
interactions between the AfDB and
key actors in the core, such as the
US, are of concern at this juncture.
Park (2017) notes how the US has
consistently used its power of the
purse as a majority shareholder
to steer other donor shareholders
to multilateral development
banks to accept its position on
accountability including through
threats to withhold funds. She
notes how the US sought to halt
the AfDB’s role in providing a
nancial lifeline to economies
greatly impacted by the debt crises
by withholding contributions to
ensure it prioritised its nancial
viability over supporting African
member states in crisis. Although
Park (2017) treats accountability as
a benign and apolitical, Cornwall
and Brock (2005) remind us that
development policy buzzwords,
including accountability, are
anything but benign. Rather by
postulating them as the norm they
are ‘reduced to monochrome;
while they may be lled with
other meanings when deployed
in other contexts, by other actors,
their appearance as consensus
neutralises dissonant elements’
(Cornwall and Brock 2005: 1047).
They emphasise the neoliberal
underpinning, and therein, market–
fundamentalist interpretations of
these terms as the norm.
Essentially what seems to be at
play is the contention between the
priorities of borrower members
of AfDB and similar multilateral
development banks and priorities
of non-regional lender members. In
fact, Humphries (2019) nds that
within multilateral development
banks, borrower members can
be more exible in operational
terms but suffer in terms of access
to nance. This reinforces the
signicance of lender members
and their hegemonic control of
access to nance and the risk of
contending priorities and attendant
challenges faced by development
banks in the developing world.
Charting the AfDB’s
interactions with
industrial development via
infrastructural investment
as part of regional
development
AfDB’s role in nance provision
for industrial progress has histori-
cally been anchored on support to
infrastructural development. This
was linked to the need to address
the reality of disarticulated infra-
structural systems that accompa-
nied colonisation (Ake 1988: 38).
At its inception, there was an ele-
ment of pragmatism to the Bank’s
agenda, given its limited capital
base. Barnes (1983: 159) high-
lights the AfDB’s communication
of its credibility through focus on
‘bankable’ projects, i.e. infrastruc-
tural investments that would gener-
ate a return.
The Bank’s support was character-
ised initially by focus on inuential
polar countries often with the
strongest economies and industrial
trajectories as opposed to regional
priorities. Barnes (1983) and
Ebong (1974) show that, in its rst
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 4
seven years, loan commitments
were largely made to Algeria, Cote
d’Ivoire, Kenya and Nigeria. This
expanded to include larger regional
projects. In West Africa, the AfDB
supported projects including the
Mano River Union Bridge, the
Régie du chemin de fer Abidjan–
Niger and the Diama Dam Project
(Barnes 1983). Over time, other
loan facilities including the AfDF
and the Nigerian Trust Fund were
established that were better able
to engage social development
priorities and a wider range of
beneciary countries.
With transitions within global
development policy moving away
from structuralist towards more
market–fundamentalist approach-
es, the Bank’s practices evolved as
well. AfDB’s support steered bor-
rower states on policies such as en-
suring evidence of protability in
ways that included charging con-
sumers market prices and forbid-
ding borrowers from undertaking
other infrastructural commitments
that risked the returns to the Bank
(Mingst 1990: 72). In some ways
this departed from the structuralist
‘Big Push’ agenda in infrastruc-
tural investment to drive industrial
development.
While there has been consistent
recognition of the commitments
to the Lagos Plan of Action, wider
global development policy has
been inuential to the AfDB’s
approach. The World Bank
articulated an expectation that the
AfDB would support it in driving
policy reform on the continent
(Mingst 2015; World Bank 1985).
Indeed, former US Executive
Director of the AfDB, Sherk has
noted how loan performances were
monitored interchangeably by the
World Bank and the AfDB (US
Government, 2001). This period of
subscription to global development
policy agendas is evidenced also
by the AfDB co-nancing 80 per
cent of its projects through the
World Bank over the 1990s with
subtle policy pressures from the
latter (Babb 2009: 152; Mingst
1990: 73).
The AfDB has seen transitions
across periods, from its history as
having a ercely African character
and ideological commitment to
industrial development coupled
with infrastructural investment
support to the contended opening
up to non-regional members
within AfDB alongside focus on
protability and responsiveness
to shareholders. This transition
was accompanied by a move from
project support to advice and
programme support in adaptation
to global development policy
directions. This shift also implied
tensions between increased
attention to national concerns as
opposed to seemingly complex
regional agendas (Mingst 2015).
In contemporary times, industri-
alisation is nding space again as
a central element of development
policy. Long-term advocate of
industrial development, Ha Joon
Chang, draws attention to this
shift in discourses (Chang and
Andreoni 2020). This follows
the neglect of industrial policy
that accompanied the structural
adjustment period as well as
the poverty reduction strategy
debates (Mkandawire 2010).
Arguably, former World Bank
chief economist Justin Lin’s new
structural economics has served a
role in this shift in the mainstream,
while remaining committed to a
market fundamentalist approach
with reliance on static comparative
advantage. On the African
continent, there is rising attention to
industrialisation in policy circles at
the continental level. From 2013 to
2017, UN Economic Commission
for Africa Economic Reports
on Africa focused distinctly on
industrialisation as central to socio-
economic change.
This global development policy
direction occurs also at a time
when much has been made of the
African continent’s emergence and
high growth levels. GDP growth
in Africa between 2000 and 2011
averaged 5 per cent and GDP
growth for ten African countries,
namely, Equatorial Guinea, Angola,
Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia,
Rwanda, Chad, Mozambique,
Uganda and Tanzania stood at
9 per cent (World Bank 2020).
Yet the failings of industrial
progress as part of this story and
the overwhelming signicance of
resource exports and therein larger
economies has been a point of
reckoning around the continent’s
reinforced position as a supplier
of raw materials (Moghalu 2014;
Taylor 2016). Indeed, the resource
price collapses in 2015 challenged
the “Africa rising” narrative and
the place of larger economies,
including Nigeria that was in
recession in 2016 and Angola that
has remained in recession ever
since (World Bank 2020).
The ipside of the narrative has
been non-net mineral and fuel
resource exporters that have
shown resilience through the crisis
alongside improving levels of
structural change. These include
Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda
that have averaged 9 per cent,
8 per cent and 7 per cent GDP growth
rates over 2012–2019, respectively
(World Bank 2020). In the case
of Ethiopia, manufacturing value
added growth doubled from 7.2 per
cent over 2000–2011 to 15.2 per
cent over 2012–2019 (World Bank
2020). In the end even resource
exporters are beginning to show
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 5
increasing levels of manufacturing
value added with Nigeria going
from 3.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent
over the periods of 2000–2011 to
2012–2019 (World Bank 2020).
Such patterns are not necessarily
altering the structure of Gross
Domestic Product. In Nigeria and
Ethiopia, manufacturing value
added as a percentage of GDP, has
retained similar averages over the
two decades at 4.8 per cent and
9.9 per cent, respectively (World
Bank 2020).3 Signicantly, this
period has also been accompanied
by intracontinental trade patterns
that are more diverse than
extracontinental trade. UNCTAD
(2019: 23–25) shows that the
continent’s global exports constitute
only 20 per cent of manufactures
due to the concentration in minerals
and fuels vis-à-vis 45 per cent of
manufactures as a proportion of
intra-African exports.
This contextual picture claries
the background to the reenergised
commitment to the place of region-
alism and regionalisation through
economic and trade integration
with the African Continental Free
Trade Area (AfCTA). The AfCTA
is intended to align industrial poli-
cy to trade policy on the continent
and in doing so create the largest
single market globally of 1.3 bil-
lion people and a joint GDP of 2.2
trillion USD (UNCTAD 2019: 6;
xiii).4 It is premised on: discourag-
ing the exports of raw materials;
privileging intracontinental trade,
with higher proportions of manu-
factured exports to encourage in-
dustrial upgrading; and providing
a larger collective base for extrac-
ontinental manufactured exports.
It has not been without challenges
including concern about national
industrial policy priorities due to
local domestic production capac-
ity problems. In this regard Nigeria
has been circumspect in its com-
mitments; it has signed the agree-
ment but is yet to ratify it, owing
to factors including concerns from
local manufacturers (NESG 2019).
Negotiating nance in
a seeming return to
infrastructural investment
and industrial development
AfDB appears to be returning to
a version of its historical agenda
of regional integration and
infrastructural investment and its
leadership role on the continent
(AfDB 2013: 14–15). This is
purposed around infrastructural
investments that may support
larger more attractive African
markets, improved intracontinental
trade and extracontinental exports.
Mingst (2015) articulates its more
systematic approach in this regard.
The Bank is clear on priority areas
of infrastructure and regional
integration. In particular, links are
drawn to the potential outcome
of infrastructural investment,
green growth and participation in
global value chains (AfDB 2013).
These are inuenced continually
by global development policy
narratives including improving
protability and competitiveness
and emphasis on enabling private
sector leadership. There are
pertinent notes of caution on the
demerits of participation in global
value chains particularly at lower
ends of value chain (Ghosh 2019).
Under President Adesina, AfDB
has been forthright about the com-
mitment to infrastructural develop-
ment and regional integration with
a concerted focus on industrial
transformation. This agenda has
also been attentive to the challeng-
es associated with the continent’s
participation in the global value
chains especially in lower value
activities. Its ve developmental
priorities include an ‘Industrialize
Africa’ agenda that is concerned
with domestic manufacturing that
utilises local raw materials and de-
velops linkages with intracontinen-
tal and global production networks
(AfDB 2019a). This is alongside a
regional integration priority, ‘In-
tegrate Africa’, that is built upon
regional infrastructural investment
within programmes including the
African Union Programme for In-
frastructural Development in Af-
rica, with special attention to en-
ergy, transport and communication
and economic integration, with the
AfCTA, and particular focus on the
potential of the continent’s con-
sumer market (AfDB 2019b).
The Bank’s direction has been
important in driving commodity-
based industrialisation and the
development of forward and
backward linkages with potential
for strengthened economic and
trade integration. An important
exemplar is one of the AfDB’s
agship projects of an investment
loan totalling 100 million USD to
the Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals
plant in Rivers State, Nigeria to
support the development of a gas to
fertiliser plant to address domestic
and regional demand (AfDB
2019a; AfDB 2012; IFC 2019).5
This investment extends existing
structural transformation in the use
of gas for downstream production
of manufacturing inputs, olens,
polypropylene and polyethylene
that have been signicant to
industrial development including
for consumable plastics (AfDB
2012). On this note, Indorama Eleme
is building forward production
linkages with the budding medical
supplies manufacturing sector. In
neighbouring Akwa Ibom State,
the Jubilee Syringes manufacturing
rm, established in 2017, reports
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 6
its use of polypropylene from
Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals
(Nsinene 2019; Ukpong 2019). The
factory is the largest in Africa with
the potential for and commitments
to addressing domestic market
needs and exports to the subregion
and the wider continent and beyond
given its production capacity of
350–400 million syringes per
annum (NIPC 2017).
These dynamics have been under-
scored by complex interactions
across the state and the market,
particularly foreign private capi-
tal. First Jubilee Syringes ben-
ets from industrial policy de-
ned by tax breaks as well as
import substitution policies such
as increased tariffs on import-
ed syringes from 5 per cent to
70 per cent in 2018; notably poly-
propylene tariff rates remain un-
changed (Deloitte 2018). Second
there has been a central role for
foreign capital in the global south
with Indonesian–Singaporean
capital in Indorama Eleme Petro-
chemicals and Turkish capital for
Jubilee Syringes.
The increasing roles for foreign
capital from the global south,
with attention to industrial and
trade policy and the role of the
Bank suggest a broadening of
signicant actors, particularly in
the control of nance for industrial
development. It is useful to
consider the implications this may
have for traditional global nance
hegemons’ interactions with
AfDB. In this regard, while the
US dismissal of AfDB governance
processes has been presented as
an exercise in building norms it
has also been seen as a response
to the Bank’s evolving interactions
with key global emerging
economies in support of an African
developmental agenda.
Against this background, the
use of norm-setting narratives in
development banks in relation to
changing international political
economy realities is pertinent.
Former US Executive Director of
the AfDB, Sherk, reported to the
US House of Representatives as
follows, ‘Sufce it to say that the
countries most adept at seeing their
objectives incorporated into MDB
[multilateral development banks]
operational guidelines are those
that focus their objectives narrowly,
stay informed of bank policies
and procedures on a day-to-day
basis, and successfully lobby other
shareholding countries in support
of the objectives that they favor’
(US Government 2001).
Yet regional members can set
about challenging the assertions
by nance hegemons and what
actually constitutes norms. In a
joint statement, former African
Heads of State have been forthright
on the need for the US to abide
by the rules and procedures of
the AfDB governance system,
as the institution’s norms. They
note that ‘no nation, regardless of
how powerful, has a veto power’
potentially to alter such norms.6
Signicantly the agreement
between the independently led
panel and the AfDB governance
process potentially reinforces the
position of the African leaders in
the robustness of AfDB processes
(Oyero 2020). More generally
contemporary emerging economies
are noted as attempting also to
challenge US hegemonic control
of nance. Xu (2016: 228–257)
argues that Chinese commitments
to the New Development Bank and
the Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank are intended to challenge US
control of nance in development.
Runde, Senior Vice President
of the Centre for Strategic and
International Studies, has described
the US challenge to Adesina
as a disruption by the Trump
administration that is a ‘good tactic
and a poor strategy’, suggesting
that this has political undertones
(BBC 2020). While challenging
the timing of this intervention
in relation to the pandemic,
Professor Nancy Birdsall, alludes
interestingly to the need for the
AfDB to consider additional
prominent members such as China
(BBC 2020). In doing so, she
raises the need to challenge the
US hegemonic inuence and what
Babb (2009: 41) terms its donor
leverage. In an attempt to inuence
the US position, the inaugural US
Executive Director at the AfDB,
Doley, had articulated support for
Adesina’s re-election on account
of the vibrant role of the Bank in
supporting African transformation
particularly in driving infrastructur-
al development (Doley 2020).
Notably he downplays concerns
about global south powers in
Africa, specically China, and
rather asserts US hegemonic
inuence as signicant to the global
economy. Given the outcome of
the independent investigation that
has vindicated the AfDB process,
this is potentially a new juncture
that politically challenges the US
as a nance hegemon; it is left to
see whether there will be a counter
response that more explicitly
deploys donor leverage.
As Mingst (1990: 119) suggests,
hegemonic donor members can
indeed have the opportunity to
wield power and dictate the terms
of development banks. Babb
(2009: 37, 31) is also clear that
the US is an activist shareholder
of multilateral banks where it uses
threats of withholding resources to
drive its policy agenda. Assertions
have been made about particular
leanings of political constituencies
CODESRIA Bulletin Online, No. 9, September 2020 Page 7
such as the Republican critique of
US engagement with multilateral
banks as not sufciently driving US
security interests vis-à-vis bilateral
aid (Babb 2009: 87). Within this
context, the AfDB walks a tightrope
between prioritising articulated
African economic interests and
serving non-regional, powerful
and inuential shareholder and
nancial capital interests.
Adesina has been forthright about
the Bank’s role in supporting
regional integration as part of
industrialisation alongside actively
courting a wide range of global
nance actors. Such prioritisation
may not bode necessarily well
for the Bank’s non-regional
shareholders that are perhaps
more focused on the attendant
dividends and potential risks.
This is an expected dilemma that
accompanies the Bank’s capacity
to balance a developmental and
transformational agenda, the
increasing relevance of capital from
emerging economies with access to
hegemonic nance that is in many
ways dominated by the traditional
metropoles. Regardless of the
underpinning of the US response
to AfDB’s governance process
what is clear is the hegemonic
power it wields to the Bank’s
functioning and therein its actions
and efforts towards the continent’s
socio-economic transformation. In
the end, Samir Amin’s arguments
about the signicance of the source
and control of nance for Africa’s
developmental agenda remain
relevant, pertinent and instructive
for how it negotiates and
challenges its positioning in the
global economy. The experiences
of this episode of resistance to the
US challenge to the AfDB’s norms
suggest tentatively that there is
some scope to negotiate and uphold
commitment to an African way.
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Notes
1. The UN Economic Commission
for Africa asserts this with
its 2020 Report focused on
‘Innovative Finance for Private
Sector Development in Africa’.
2. This agreement was undertaken
and implemented between
WAEMU countries and France
to the chagrin of Anglophone
ECOWAS member states as it
leaves the Eco pegged to Euro and
backed by the French Treasury
(M’Bida et al. 2020).
3. Services have experienced more
extensive expansion in output
across the continent in at least 45
countries including in Ethiopia
and Nigeria (UNCTAD,2015: 12-
13). Adesina (2020) also notes
this trend.
4. As at July 2020, it has had 54
signatories and 28 ratications.
5. This investment is alongside other
sources of international nance
from Nigeria, global south and
global north contexts.
6. Press statement by concerned
African leaders, “ Leadership
of the African Development
Bank: A Need for Caution”
May 29, 2020. https://allafrica.
com/view/resource/main/main/
id/00130033.html
... This concern with infrastructure is timely and relevant. Infrastructure is returning to the fore of the global development agenda, after periods in the proverbial wilderness that saw greater attention to institutional and social development programs (Bachmann & Schouten, 2018;Ikpe, 2020a). UNOPS (2020) notes the increasing significance of infrastructural development beyond humanitarian phases and into the longer-term. ...
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