AfDB highlights critical role of private sector in sustainable development

09/06/2016
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The African Development Bank’s strategy to involve the private sector in providing sustainable energy solution was the focus of this year’s Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At a June 7, 2016 panel discussion on “Accelerating Financial Investments in Sustainable Growth”, the AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina stressed the importance of ensuring mechanisms that will encourage private sector investment in sustainable development. “We need to provide a robust framework though which we can accelerate financial investments in sustainable development,” he said.

“Lake Turkana would not have happened without all partners coming in. Public-private partnerships are essential,” he added. The Bank-funded Lake Turkana wind power project in Kenya will significantly increase the country’s power generation capacity, providing the country with clean affordable energy.

President Adesina highlighted the Bank’s plan to lead the way on green growth and to triple its climate finance to US $5 billion per year, and to leverage about US $20 billion in private and public sector investments in climate mitigation and adaptation by 2020. The President stressed that Africa presented great opportunities. “It is not a question of the demand not being there, but how you structure the projects and bring them to bankability. Africa needs relevant and sustainable projects,” he said. 

Other speakers on the panel were Yvo de Boer, Director General of Global Green Growth Institute; Torben Møger Pedersen, CEO of PensionDanmark, Denmark; Mariuz Calvet Roquero, Head of Sustainability, Banamex, Mexico; and Caroline Anstey, the Global Head of UBS and Society, Switzerland.

While in Denmark, Adesina met with the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, including the Committee Chair, Claus Kvist Hansen (the Danish People’s Party); Martin Lidegaard (the Social Liberal Party); Mette Gjerskov (the Social Democratic Party); Christian Juhl (the Red-Green Alliance); and Ulla Sandbæk (the Alternative).

The committee endorsed the President’s vision for Africa to be delivered through five key approaches, known as the High 5s: Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. These, the committee said, were fully aligned with Denmark’s priorities.

At a high-level roundtable discussion with Danish business leaders, President Adesina called for more collaboration, noting that the Bank was committed to creating an enabling environment to foster further partnership with private sector.

He stressed that although African economies were facing some headwinds, they “still remain resilient”, with the 2016 growth rate predicted at 3.6%, above the 3.2% global growth rate, 2.2% in the USA, and 1.9% in the Euro area. This makes Africa the second fastest growing region in the world, just after emerging Asia.

Denmark is a member of the African Development Bank as well as the African Development Fund (ADF). It contributed US $104 million to the 13th cycle of the ADF, which is currently going through replenishment.