President Adesina assures UN Secretary General of Bank’s strong commitment to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa

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In the lead up to the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina, paid a courtesy visit to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on September 24, 2015. During their discussions, the Secretary General congratulated Adesina on his election as President of the African Development Bank Group and thanked him for the Bank's participation in the UNGA, and his support for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Secretary General acknowledged the Bank as an important partner of the United Nations, particularly for the implementation of the SDGs in Africa. Ban Ki-moon went on to express appreciation for the Bank's leadership role in accelerating the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in many African countries. He called for the two institutions to work closely together towards the realisation of the 2063 vision for the African Renaissance. To this end, Africa should own and implement the SDGs. "Without Africa on board, we are not able to claim that we are living in a sustainable world," Ban Ki-moon said.

In his remarks, President Adesina thanked the Secretary General and noted that he has "always admired Mr. Ban Ki-moon's global leadership and passion for people, particularly his approach in dealing with development issues with a human face." He underscored the Bank's strong commitment to work closely with the United Nations and other partners to support the SDGs.

"Through the implementation of the SDGs, Africa can realize its aspirations for sustainable development," Adesina said. He commended the Secretary General for his leadership in focusing attention to the states in fragility, and expressed the Bank's interest to continue the collaboration with the UN in ramping up ongoing support initiatives for Somalia and building resilience in the Sahel region. Ban Ki-moon recalled his visits to the these regions, together with the heads of the African Union Commission, African Development Bank and the World Bank, to express solidarity with the affected populations and to galvanize action from the international community. He invited President Adesina to join him in future visits to fragile countries.

President Adesina also briefed the Secretary General on the priority he attaches to accelerating universal access to energy in Africa, which is a critical factor in unlocking the continent's development potential. To deliver on its strategy, the Bank will be launching a New Deal on Energy for Africa aimed at scaling up financing for the sector and developing transformative partnerships with the governments, development partners, the private sector and other stakeholders. The Secretary General welcomed this initiative and lauded the President's bold move to mobilize the actors and assured him of his full support to this endeavour.