Atta Africa Financial Update

Executive summary
The African Development Bank (AfDB) will choose its new leader to replace Donald Kaberuka in May - eight candidates stand to take the continental institution on paths of continuity or change.

The AfDB owes much to its two preceding leaders. Omar Kabbaj regained the crucial AAA rating for the institution in 2003; Donald Kaberuka pushed the Bank into the front line of infrastructure lending, even briefly outstripping the World Bank in disbursements for power stations and roads (in 2013, the AfDB approved US$3.2bn for infrastructure projects).

The future candidates range across the continent, representing Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, Chad, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Tunisia. Each candidate has submitted a vision statement that details their priorities for the bank. Last month, seven of the eight contenders met at the Center for Global Development in Washington DC to outline these priorities.

In short, the key driving themes of the new candidates include building strong institutions, jobs for Africa’s youth, health and inequality. Several candidates highlight the important that private equity and capital markets will play in the development of these sectors.

The decision will be one of a vote of the bank's Board of Governors. It will be a difficult decision for the Governors - all candidates are strong; DCE's tip: Sufian Ahmed from Ethiopia. With two decades of service as Finance Minister and the overseeing of the transformation of the Ethiopian economy, he appears a very strong front-runner.

afb has acquired Weza Tele for US$1.7 million

  • In Kenya's largest startup acquisition to date, financial services company afb has acquired Weza Tele for US$1.7 million
  • Weza Tele is a mobile solutions company, which was incubated by Nailab, provides services in a number of countries, including Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe