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General lines of policy for consultations in Non-African countries

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UNITED NATIONS

ECONOMIC

SOCIAL COUNCIL

Distr. =====

RESTRICTED

E/CN.14/ADB/7

24 September 1962 Original: HiGLISH

ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOE AFRICA

Committee of Nine on the Establishment of an African Development Bank

Second cession

Douala, 24 - 27 September 1962

Agenda item 2

GENERAL LINES OF POLICY FOR CONSULTATIONS IN NON-AFRICAN COUNTRIES

(Note by the Executive Secretary)

62-2527

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E/CN.14/ADB/7

. , . , GETOAL LIN^S OF POLICY FOR CONSULTATIONS +; ... r ...

... : IN NON-AFRICAN COUNTRIES ..

In thfc discussions that took place during the Committee's first. -j meeting Jin Monrovia it "was made clear that the Committee of Nine were ■ -..

in &atfOUT of restricting the participation in the share capital of --.^

the African Development Bank to the. Aifrician States only>..th.e pontribu-.,;

tions by, ncn^African countries would, it was considered, ;take the.

form of loans and grants. The reports of the three teams that visited . the African States will show whether these States have endorsed, the . opinion of the Committee or have suggested certain modifications. These

modifications, if any,'mill be the subject of discussion by the Com mittee of Nine in its'"'second meeting. Teams visiting the non-African countries would' know tne trend of thinking in the Committee in so far

as the share capital probiem is' concerned. ...^

In addition to this major question of the provision of share oapital there are other problems that need to be discussed in the

Committee of Nine so that the teams going to non—African countries would be guided by the opinion of the Committee on these matters. In the following paragraph these matters are briefly dealt with to assist the

Committee's discussions.

The first problem ^that suggests-itself is the currency in which 1pans

can bo accepted by the African Development Bank- .Must the loans be

made in convertible currenoy only or can they be made in non-convertible currency partially, or in whole? In the case of acceptance of non- conyertible currency loans., will this.be an obstacle to seeking inter national tenders for works to be undertaken and for making adjudications aooording to technical priteria which is an essential condition to the good working of the,Bank? Or is it considered to be possible to make international adjudications and if the lowest bid pomes from the country where the non-convertible currency can be used. the__order can. be given to that country and the payment made in the non-convertible currenoy Suoh a loan can only be in the form of a line of credit and any interest

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to "be paid on such 16ans will have to be calculated as from the date the line of oredit or part of it :ia utilized. It is likely that euoh

lines of credit, will not "be.utilized as quickly: as .the ponyertible, loans^. Such lines, of,, .credit will;, necessitate a provision fixing the,. ...

rate of exchange as otherwise the, country .bqrrowing in that currency may run the risk of paying heavily beoause the country, whose ourrenoy . is used has decided.to.: .overvalue its currency. , .. . . : tr

Such problems ido notr present themselves in the case of grants. : . There is no rate of interest to be charged nor is the repayment of-

prinoipal required^ ■"■■ ■ j ■■' ! ' --■■■

The rate of interest is also one of the questions that deserve "*

discussion by the Committee. There are projects in Afrioa that can pay the market rate of interest but there are others, 'also very es sential, where at the market rate of interest, the total amount to be paid' in interest would constitute a heavy burden on the borrowing oountry. Most of1 the infrastructure projects and the larger power : ..■■-<

projects fall into this last category. The Committee of Nine may find"

it advisable-to emphasise that a good part of the loans borrowed by the African Development Bank from the non-African Governments will' require a low rate of interest or no interest at .all and that the x period of the^pans should be as long as.forty or fifty years so that the burden ont^e borrowing tc.ountry. when repayment takes place will

:,^§;more yearly proportionate to the. possibilities 9f that oountry.

'"Ma for membership of the: organs of management,' the.Gbmmitte.e.of Niiiehave expressed their view that the members of the Board; of'Governors 1 and of :ihe Board of Directors must all bs Africans but the Committee.;

did not rule but the possibility of-having a Consultative.Committee^

of technicians "and experts that could :be ohoosen from-;non-Afrdcan ■

^bountries a^'well as from African countries. A discussion by'ther.;- ; •■..

Committee on this point would guide;the teams visiting

countries in th-eir'consultations.' ; ; - ■'-

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E/CN.14/ADB/7

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Finally, some guidance is also required as to the future lending policy of the Bank. The Inter-American Bank has what they call the three window device - hard loans, soft loans and grants, while the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has one window for hard loans, but has lately established a window for soft loans

by creating the International Development Association (IDA), A dis

cussion as to which of the two devices is best suited for the African Development Bank will be most helpful. It is worth noting here that in the case of the Inter-American Development Bank the USA is the only partner and the only one 30 far that is giving grants to the Bank to administer. The USA is represented on the Boards of Governors and

Directors.

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