African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed an extra K184 billion ($268 million) in the 2016/2017 financial year on top of its current K214 billion ($310 million) portfolio to Malawi as a way of attaining growth in specific thematic areas.

The good news was relayed by AfDB newly-elected President, Dr. Akinwumi Adenisa, when he held talks with Malawi leader, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Tuesday at Sanjika Palace in the commercial city of Blantyre.

According to Dr. Adenisa, the decision has been arrived at following the bank’s aligning of its programs and policies to the priorities of President Mutharika’s government which focus on youth empowerment, agriculture and infrastructure development among others.

The bank has also also committed close to K700 million ($1 million) immediately to food purchase as a response to the country’s depleted food stocks. In addition, there is also a disbursement of an additional K23 billion ($34 million) for food for the year 2016/2017.

Malawi is experiencing food security challenges due to the devastating floods that hit the country in the last growing season. This state of affairs may be made worse with the drought that has affected most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa this year as well.

In his statement during the audience, President Mutharika emphasized on the need for Malawi and African Development Bank to continue tallying their policies in the same direction so as to realize economic growth and improvement of livelihoods.

“It is our conviction that Malawi needs pro-growth support. It is my government’s commitment that we set the foundation of weaning the country from aid dependence, in order to ensure that we are truly independent. However, that dream will not be possible without support from institutions like the Bank.

The African Development Bank remains one of the most important development partners for Malawi. The AfDB has been a friend indeed since the establishment of the development cooperation between the Bank and Malawi in June 1969,” said the President while boasting of the Bank’s portfolio in Malawi which is valued at over K700 billion (US$1 billion).

The African Development Bank has been providing support to Malawi in various sectors, within the framework of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy 2, such as health, agriculture, water, irrigation, transport, education, as well as public finance management.

Besides individual interventions from the Bank, Malawi also stands to benefit from other programmes that are packaged in continental and regional projects.

At the recent African Union Summit held in Ethiopia, the Bank committed US$12 billion towards the implementation of NEPAD programmes in Energy under the program Light Up Africa; and US$300 million in Agriculture, with a focus on Smallholder farmers, especially women. These resources will help Africa move towards achieving its aspirations of the Agenda 2063.

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