Skip to main content
speech

REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. WILLIAM SAMOEI RUTO AT THE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (IDA 21) REPLENISHMENT SUMMIT

 
Your Excellency President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Chairman of the African Union Assembly,
Your Excellences, Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellency Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group,
Excellences Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
1.    Good morning, and welcome to Kenya. On behalf of the people and government of Kenya, I welcome you all to Nairobi for the IDA for Africa Heads of State Summit.
 
2.    It is an honour for Kenya to host this IDA replenishment conference at this historic venue—the place where African leaders recently united with a bold vision. Here, we committed to transforming our continent into a thriving middle-income region, leveraging our unique potential to drive global solutions. Today, we build on that legacy by actualising our potential to provide those solutions through necessary financing.
 
3.    I extend my deepest gratitude to each of you for joining us at this pivotal summit. Your presence not only honors us but also reaffirms our shared commitment to the International Development Association—our cornerstone for achieving the development goals of our continent and beyond.
 
4.    We convene at a critical juncture, facing a convergence of global crises. These include escalating geopolitical tensions that challenge international unity, a deepening development and debt crisis that threatens our economic stability, and urgent climate emergencies that demand immediate and collective action for our planet's survival.
 
5.    Today, as we gather here, Kenya and the broader East Africa region face severe flooding that has devastated communities, destroyed infrastructure, and disrupted our economies. Concurrently, Southern Africa confronts intensifying droughts, affecting nations like Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Just last year, the roles were reversed—highlighting our shared vulnerability to extreme weather patterns. This new normal demands our immediate and united action to safeguard our future.
 
6.    This underscores the critical role of the IDA For Africa Summit. As a cornerstone of financing for Africa, IDA has directed 75% of its total commitments—nearly US$26 billion—to our continent in the last fiscal year, with African nations comprising eight of IDA's top ten borrowers. This support is not just financial; it's a lifeline for our development and stability.
 
7.    IDA stands out for its rapid and decisive action during crises, distinguishing itself from other funding sources. Its demand-driven programs, combined with concessional loans of 40 to 50 years, empower borrowing nations to pursue sustainable, long-term development strategies.
 
8.    Now more than ever, long-term concessional financing is vital. As many African and other developing nations face severe debt crises, this financial strain hampers our efforts to combat climate change, transition to a low-carbon economy, and adequately fund essential sectors like education, health, and social protection.
 
9.    We have frequently discussed the financial challenges that restrict our economic capabilities and reduce our investment in resilience and growth. High interest rates lead to unsustainable sovereign debt, complicate refinancing, and destabilize our currencies. Additionally, the rising cost of living, increasing commodity prices, and supply chain disruptions severely impact our food security, healthcare systems, and overall preparedness for and response to crises.
 
10.    Last year, we brought to global attention that African nations pay interest rates up to five times higher than the typical World Bank IBRD rates. This year, the situation has worsened: developing countries are now net contributors to the global economy, contrary to expectations of receiving net inflows. Projections for 2024 show a net outflow of US$74 billion from IDA countries to donor nations, while net financial transfers to developing countries have plummeted from US$225 billion in 2014, to a low of US$51 billion in 2022.
 
11.    Given these conditions, sustainable growth remains elusive for African nations as we allocate more funds to debt service than to crucial sectors like education, health, and social protection. This financial strain was prevalent in two-thirds of African countries even before the pandemic struck. Notably, in 2020, one in every four Sub-Saharan African countries dedicated over 17% of its public revenue solely to interest payments.  
 
12.    The IMF reports that Sub-Saharan Africa's ratio of interest payments to revenue has more than doubled in a decade, reaching nearly four times that of advanced economies by the end of 2022. As a result, over half of IDA recipients face debt distress or are at high risk. IDA remains their most dependable source of patient capital, with every dollar of donor financing enabling an additional US$3.5 in capital market leverage to amplify development impacts.
 
13.    This endeavor transcends financial returns; it's about fulfilling our collective, global aspirations. Africa's commitment to economic transformation, reducing poverty and inequalities and enhancing human well being, is essential and demands significant capital investment. Moreover, the global goal of achieving net-zero by 2050 cannot be realized without Africa's active participation, a failure which would jeopardize humanity's survival.
 
14.    It is imperative to understand: With substantial investment in our vast energy resources, Africa could not only provide power to all its citizens, including the 600 million currently without access, but also significantly advance global decarbonization efforts. Our continent possesses 60% of the world's prime solar resources, and our untapped renewable energy potential exceeds fifty times the projected global electricity demand by 2040. However, realizing this requires a shift in investment strategies, with affordable, long-term capital at scale.  
 
15.    Our proposal and request entail a vision for Africa-driven socio-economic development, executed with transparency and inclusiveness, and our case is straightforward: Significant capital injection into IDA is crucial. The G20 Independent Expert Group recommends tripling IDA's financing capacity to US$279 billion by 2030, while maintaining the essential concessional nature of its financing. At the very least, let us not ignore or wish away this expert advice.
 
16.    We seek not just funding, but a partnership for progress. African nations propose a robust plan for Climate Positive Growth, aligning with the Nairobi Declaration from last year's Africa Climate Summit, to ensure stable, dignified, and sustainable livelihoods across our continent.
 
17.    Africa is poised to transform its agriculture, water security, and energy access, while creating job opportunities for over 4 million youths entering the job market monthly and expand our small and medium enterprises.
 
18.    Central to these opportunities is our commitment to African-led initiatives. We aim to control our destiny, managing our resources responsibly and sustainably, to drive Africa’s industrialization agenda using our abundant energy, mineral and human capital resources.
 
19.    Our commitment is to transparency and accountability in our socio-economic development plans, ensuring the efficient and effective use of IDA funds.
 
20.    We acknowledge the vital roles of diverse stakeholders beyond governments and traditional donors, committing to deeper and broader engagement, to enrich our development outcomes.
 
21.    We are committed to empower the African Union Commission to make it fit-for-purpose, with capacity to engage the rest of the world on behalf of Africa, reform the Pan-African Parliament to enhance oversight and accountability over the Commission and establish an African Court of Justice.
 
22.    Faced with the relentless challenge of climate change and escalating instability, our unity is our strength. Despite the myriad forces that threaten to divide us, we must remain focused on the ultimate goal: safeguarding the future of our civilization, the human race, and the diverse life forms that share our planet.
 
23.    Africa is eager to contribute to the solution. Our continent offers a viable and promising pathway to a future of prosperity for all humanity, harnessing our rich resources and innovative spirit.
 
24.    IDA's efficiency and effectiveness make it a unique force for good. Africa recognizes this and does not take it for granted. We are setting an example with our ambitious agenda for structural and systemic reforms, underpinned by a steadfast commitment to tangible results, transparency, and robust partnerships.
 
25.    Given the enormity of the challenge faced by African countries and its global implications as a collective emergency, we call on our partners to meet us at this historic moment of solidarity and respond effectively by increasing their IDA contribution from the US$93 billion raised in 2021, to at least US$120 billion in 2024.
 
26.    As we make this call, we as African Heads of States and Governments commit to play our part by taking deliberate and robust actions to improve fiscal discipline, increase domestic revenue mobilisation, develop investor-friendly policies and enhance anti-corruption measures.
 
27.    IDA exemplifies the best of global cooperation, characterized by compassion, lasting dedication, and fruitful collaboration. By fortifying IDA, we do more than just honor these values—we significantly enhance our joint ability to tackle global challenges. Let us value and expand the reach and influence of this vital resource. Together, let us be bold, let us be ambitious, and let us act with conviction!