AFDB Attracts $78.8 Billion Investment In Two Years.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) under the leadership of Dr Akinwunmi Adesina attracted $78.8 billion worth of investment interests into Africa in two years.
The regional multilateral development bank was able to mobilise these investments “through the innovative and groundbreaking Africa Investment Forum in 2018 and 2019.”
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, President Buhari, who was represented by Mohammed Gana, urged the bank to consider intervention in the area of health infrastructure as this will help to cope with the present crisis as well as in preparing for future possible episodes.
He said, “The bank needs to step up its efforts in helping African countries to create jobs for our youths because it is clear that governments alone cannot do this. We truly need this in order to address the problems of unauthorized migration and extremism across the continent.
“With the various domestic reform efforts in our country including in the area of resource mobilisation, public finance management improving the environment for doing business etc as well as the adoption of the
Africa continental free trade, Africa is well-positioned for a new era of growth”.
The bank’s non-sovereign operations for the private sector increased 40 per cent from $1.5 billion in 2015 to $ 2.1 billion in 2019, with the highest level of $ 2.5 billion achieved in 2016.
Adesina told the bank’s shareholders that they got value for money as AfDB has the lowest cost among all multilateral development banks.
Looking into the future, and working with the Board of Directors, Adesina said “the bank will pay increased attention to supporting Africa with quality health care infrastructure, and building on its comparative advantage in infrastructure.”
The bank’s infrastructure work he said “will focus on economic infrastructure, quality physical infrastructure, and quality health infrastructure.”
According to him, COVID-19 in Africa opened up “new opportunities and a greater sense of urgency to build up Africa’s manufacturing capacity, industrial development, and critically needed industrial value chains that must be supported by enabling infrastructure and policies.”
In this regard, he said, “Special attention will be given to regional industrial value chains and the strengthening of financial markets in order to expand intra-regional trade and competitiveness, and boost the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.”
The challenges ahead, he noted, are many, including poverty, inequality, fragility, high youth unemployment, significant infrastructure financing gaps, and sustainable debt management.
During his second term and beyond, Adesina assured that “the bank will play a greater role in policy dialogues with countries.
“We will support sustainable debt management, boost green growth and accelerate the promotion of jobs for youth on the continent,” he added.
Going forward, the AfDB president said the bank “will expand partnerships – financial partnerships, knowledge partnerships, and investment partnerships, stronger inclusive partnerships with civil society, academia and knowledge centers of excellence.
“We will reach out and tilt more global capital towards Africa – joining investment hands across the globe to support the needs of the continent.”
He vowed to ensure that Africa’s youth potential would be fully unleashed.
He said, “We will support the establishment of Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks- Banks that will help to mobilise and deploy capital to drive the entrepreneurship of the youths of Africa – in ways that are systemic, scalable and sustainable.”
In agriculture, he said the AfDB will support “scaling up technologies to reach tens of millions of farmers and supporting Africa to build competitive agricultural value chains.
“AfDB will add value to what we produce in Africa, and provide creative and high-tech opportunities for massive youth
engagement in agriculture and agribusiness.” Adesina added.
According to him, this time around the AfDB’s “focus will be on ‘Institution’, ‘People’, ‘Delivery, and ‘Sustainability.
Each of these will be captured in the five areas which combine with the programmatic High 5s to transform the development landscape of
In her address, Nigeria’s minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, urged the AfDB to take “the relevant lessons from the recent experience and work to strengthen the institution from this experience.”
She also appealed to all stakeholders – member-countries, the Board of
Directors, senior management and staff to join hands to push the bank to greater heights of achievement, delivery, and efficiency in the the interest of Africa.
Ahmed also challenged the AfDB “to step up its efforts in helping African countries to create jobs for our youths because it is clear that governments alone cannot do this. We truly need this in order to address the problems of unauthorised migration and extremism across the continent.”