The 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union kicked off on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, attended by the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, alongside African Heads of State.
The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, officially took over from President Alpha Condé of Guinea as President of the African Union.
Kagame announced the take-off of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), free movement on the continent and free trade area, all scheduled as priorities for 2018. The SAATM is the first AU Agenda 2063 flagship project which aims to create a single unified air transport market in Africa to liberalize civil aviation on the continent and to advance Africa’s economic integration agenda.
The African Union’s 2018 theme, “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, was launched by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, following his endorsement to champion the fight against corruption on the continental level at the 29th Summit held last year.
The Assembly, which takes place on January 28-29, 2018, is deliberating on the state of peace and security on the continent, the African Peer Review Mechanism, climate change and institutional reforms of the AU aimed at enhancing the continental body’s governance systems.
The African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, took an active part in a series of events on the sidelines of the AU Summit on January 27 and 28 in the Ethiopian capital.
He attended the Board of Directors of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) chaired by the President of Guinea, Alpha Condé and presented the Bank’s financial report as the fiduciary of AREI.
Adesina also attended the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) Working Lunch and gave remarks on support for local manufacturing.
“ALMA’s work experience in the pharmaceutical sector is of key interest to the Bank, and we look forward to deepening our exchanges on this subject with a view to removing bottlenecks and facilitating developing Africa’s local pharmaceutical production,” he said. “The Bank will specifically support ALMA to undertake a mapping of existing local manufacturing capacities, support the development of bankable projects for local manufacturing of anti-malaria drugs, provide access to longer-term capital to spur Africa’s pharmaceutical industry, and support efforts to standardize manufacturing of generic drugs while protecting intellectual property rights.”
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance is a groundbreaking coalition of 49 African Heads of State and Government working across country and regional borders to eliminate malaria by 2030.
President Adesina also attended the High Level Event on ‘New Way of Working: From Vision to Action-National, Regional and Global Dimensions’ at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He pledged support for the New Way of Working as “crucially important” and requiring using new lenses to look at development issues.
The Bank President called on the UN Secretary General to join him in supporting the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environmental Facility to also work differently, and step up support to co-pay for climate risk insurance for vulnerable African countries, noting that African countries, hit by climate change, are hard pressed to find funds to pay insurance premiums.
On Monday, January 29, the African Development Bank, together with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners launched the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN) initiative at the AU Headquarters.