Africa/France Summit: AfDB President urges action to finance Africa’s economic transformation

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, has called for improved access to financing to accelerate the transformation of African economies. Speaking before African leaders at the Africa-France Summit which took place in Bamako on January 13-14, Mr. Adesina stressed that Africa can speed up its economic transformation through the Bank’s five main priorities, the “High 5”: “Light up and power Africa”; “Feed Africa”; “Industrialize Africa”; “Integrate Africa”; and “Improve the quality of life of African populations.

These five key priorities are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, as demonstrated by an independent evaluation conducted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). However, Mr. Adesina noted that the resources needed for Africa’s economic transformation are enormous. That’s why the African Development Bank is poised to launch the Africa Investment Forum designed to create a space where supply and demand can meet.

Advocating for agroindustrialisation and involvement of young people in this sector of the future, Adesina stressed that “the solution to the migratory crisis is in Africa. This is why the Bank launched the “Enable Youth” program, which will help create 1.5 million jobs in 30 countries, helping to retain young people in Africa.

Adesina also highlighted the need to reduce areas of fragility. That is why the Bank launched recently the Forum on Resilience in Africa, which will enable us to achieve the Top 5 in 10,000 communities in 1,000 days, with an immediate impact in fragile areas.   “Let’s mobilize and make the High 5 reality in order to unleash the potential of Africa,” he concluded.

The president of the AfDB thanked donors for their commitment to support the African Renewable Energy Initiative, a joint initiative with the African Union that is now fully operational. Its aim is to accelerate and increase the enormous potential of Africa in the field of renewable energies. The European Union has already committed € 3 billion, plus € 6 million from France and € 2 million from Germany.

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