The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, said Friday in a speech delivered during the Bamako Economic Forum that natural resource-based economies are experiencing lower growth and need to diversify their economies to strengthen their resilience.
“This is why the Bank is providing countercyclical support to key sectors such as energy, agriculture and transport to the countries most affected by the global economic downturn.”
Adesina called on the private sector to establish partnerships with the Bank to achieve the Bank’s five development priorities High 5s” and enter a new phase of transformation for the continent.
“African economies are resilient and offer enormous opportunities,” Adesina said during the Bamako Economic Forum, which opened the two-day Africa-France Summit in the Malian capital.
“They have seen impressive economic growth rates, largely due to macroeconomic stability, improved business conditions and a more favourable investment climate.
The Bank has approved a US $1-billion package to support Nigeria, of which $600 million has already been disbursed. It has approved $1 billion to Algeria, $500 million to Egypt and $200 million Gabon.
To support Africa’s growth momentum and accelerate its economic transformation, the African Development Bank has adopted the High 5s: Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
These five key priorities are supported by initiatives, such as the New Deal on Energy for Africa, which will ensure universal access to electricity by 2025; its “Feed Africa” strategy to open more than US $100 billion worth of markets by 2025; industrialization to boost for job creation and economic transformation of the continent; and the creation of African financial markets to promote greater integration of the continent’s stock exchanges.
In addition, the Bank has created the African Domestic Bond Fund worth $200 million to stimulate liquidity and increase the size of the bond market on the continent.
The Bank’s flagship program, Jobs for Youth in Africa, aims to help create about 25 million jobs over the next 10 years. The institution will help mobilize $3 billion to support young entrepreneurs in Africa by focusing on agribusiness, ICT, better skills matching and support for youth through the creation of business incubators, and access to finance.
“Our partners must resolutely support this response from Africa,” said Adesina. “It is necessary to raise once again a well-founded hope in Africa, in place of the desperate search for an uncertain hope in Europe.”
The President of Africa’s premier financial institution invited the private sector to reinforce its commitment: “The private sector has made a major contribution to the growth of Africa. To stimulate inclusive growth, more investment is needed in the private sector.”
The 27th Africa-France Summit, known as the “Bamako Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence”, is taking place in Mali from January 13 to 14, 2017.