AfDB launches Global Benchmark bond and US$2m project in 4 Africa counties

WEST AFRICA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has launched a project to support development of domestic debt markets and financial systems in four West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) countries: the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

The Bank had earlier approved a grant of US$2 million for the project.

The project, funded from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility, will provide technical assistance and capacity building to develop domestic debt markets in the four countries.

Specifically, it will support the deepening of primary debt markets, improvement of debt market infrastructure, enhancement of institutional capacity in relevant agencies and authorities and a broadening of the investor base.

“We are delighted with the partnership with the African Development Bank to support financial systems development in the WAMZ, particularly in the area of technical assistance and institutional capacity building. It is our desire to see further deepening in financial integration and cross border operations in the Zone,” said Dr. Olorunsola Olowofeso, Director General of the WAMI, which is the implementing agency on behalf of the four countries.

Developing debt markets will underpin the emergence of effective capital markets in the region – a driver of investment and economic growth.

“Debt market development will facilitate increased intermediation of capital, both for public and private entities, and is aligned with our vision for the emergence of well-functioning and resilient financial and capital markets in African countries,” said the Bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development Department, Stefan Nalletamby.

The West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) will cooperate closely with the participating countries to implement the project, which builds on the Bank’s earlier WAMZ payment systems project to support the upgrade of central bank payment systems in the four countries.

The Bank funding will also complement existing initiatives to enhance the development of financial systems in the WAMZ countries.

Meanwhile, AfDB has launched and priced a US$2.5 billion 5-year Global Benchmark bond due 23 March 2026, its first $ benchmark of the year.

The new transaction represents AfDB’s largest 5-year $ Global Benchmark ever issued, as well as its largest orderbook achieved for a 5-year benchmark transaction.

With the final orderbook closing in excess of US$3.6 billion (excluding Joint Lead Managers (JLM) interest), and 72 investors participating, the success of this 5-year transaction is a clear vote of confidence from investors in AfDB’s AAA credit.

Global asset managers and bank treasuries were key contributors to the strong dynamic of the transaction and played a key role in its success, illustrating their solid partnership with the AfDB.

The AfDB’s mandate for a 5-year $ Global Benchmark was announced on Monday 15 March, at 12.04pm London time with Initial Pricing Thoughts (IPTs) released at mid-swaps + 6 basis points (bps) area.

“This is our largest 5-year dollar benchmark transaction, and its success reflects the strong interest from our growing investors across the globe for the Bank’s credit story and the quality of its transactions,” Hassatou Diop N’Sele, Group Treasurer, African Development Bank.

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