The African Development Bank has announced that its Annual Meetings this year will be held virtually to comply with the COVID-19 pandemic-related social-distancing guidelines.

The Governors’ Dialogue and the election of a president will be top of the agenda of the upcoming Meetings scheduled for 26-27 August 2020, a press statement issued in Abidjan over the weekend said.

This year, which marks the 55th meeting of the Bank’s Board of Governors and the 46th Annual Meeting of the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional arm, has the added significance of being an election year for the Bank’s president. The incumbent, Dr. AkinwumiAdesina, is running as the sole candidate for a new five-year term.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the continent’s shores in early March, over 1,000,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been recorded in Africa. The pandemic has hit the region’s economies hard in the wake of falling commodity prices and containment measures by governments that have led to country lockdowns.

For several months, the Bank has been extending support to regional member countries in cushioning their economies, health systems, and citizens’ livelihoods from parallel health and economic impacts from COVID-19.

In April 2020, The Bank established a COVID-19 Response Facility of up to $10 billion to extend flexible support to African sovereign and non-sovereign operations. As of August 20, $2.29 billion in CRF funding had been approved for ADB member countries.

A further $1.186 billion has been disbursed to ADF member countries, with approvals ongoing.