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AfDB key to continent’s economic development – Southern African governors

The Southern African Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) have called on the bank to lead the way to faster-paced development of the African Continent.

The AfDB Southern Africa Governors in a group photo with the bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina

The AfDB, in a statement on Tuesday, April 11, 2018, said the governors as well as Finance Ministers from Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia shared their thoughts at a regional consultation with AfDB in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The ministers of Finance and Planning from São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe were also present at the meeting.

According to the statement, the governors expressed concern about the Southern African region’s low growth performance in 2017 and the fact that nine out of 10 developing countries would be in Africa by 2030.

They identified the bank as Africa’s trusted partner to lead the way to reverse the situation.

The Minister of Finance and Budget of Madagascar, Mrs Vonintsalama Andriambololona, said many challenges faced by Africa required that the continent sit up in order to develop and to grow.

She commended the bank’s leadership in reducing time lags between project conception and first disbursements, which she noted was faster with the AfDB than with any other multilateral development institution.

“We are grateful to the African Development Bank for anticipating Africa’s funding needs and addressing them now. Africa needs more resources to grow.

“As such, we are favourable to a capital increase for the Bank to help address Africa’s funding needs,” she said.

Meanwhile, the AfDB president, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said in 2017, the bank accelerated the scale and delivery of its lending and achieved the highest disbursement ever in its history with over $7.2 billion.

“The challenges ahead of Africa are immense, and the need for faster growth is even more urgent than ever before. Therefore, we cannot rest on our oars,” he said.

Adesina called for collective action to scale-up implementation of Africa’s development, noting that a faster-paced development was what the continent needed.

“We have just 12 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This is not a clock ticking, It is an alarm bell for the world and the bell is ringing louder and louder.

“The Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved by a ‘business as usual’ attitude and they will not be realised globally unless Africa achieves them completely and comprehensively,” he said.

Adesina said all the countries of the Southern region had a great opportunity to accelerate inclusive growth in the next few years and that the AfDB would be with them on this journey.

According to AfDB data, the bank’s operations are transforming the lives of millions of Africans.

According to figures for 2010-2017, 18 million Africans benefitted from new electricity connections and 57 million Africans benefitted from improvements in agriculture.

In the same period, 420,000 small businesses were provided with financial services, while 83 million Africans benefitted from improved access to transport and 49 million Africans benefitted from better access to water and sanitation.

By Rachael Ishaya

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