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In a speech delivered at a meeting with the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Parliament in Berlin on Wednesday, the President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, thanked the Committee for Germany’s generous contribution to the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional resource arm of the Bank.
Adesina briefly explained the Bank’s High 5 priorities, citing an independent analysis by the UN Development Programme, which showed that if Africa focuses on the High 5s, it will achieve about 90% of its Sustainable Development Goals and 90% of its Agenda 2063. The High 5s are the accelerators for Africa's development: “They bring the future to the present and make life worth living now for hundreds of millions of Africans,” he said.
He indicated that the Bank launched the New Deal on Energy for Africa and has taken the lead in financing the “off-grid renewable energy revolution” in Africa while investing heavily in its agriculture. In addition, Adesina informed the committee that the Bank is taking deliberate action to promote investments that aim to level the playing field for women in Africa, citing the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA). Jobs for youth are also a priority for the continent, as well as accelerating financing for small and medium-size enterprises, integrating African stock exchanges and providing support to the private sector, he said.
In the speech, Adesina underscored the Bank’s vision for Africa and outlined some of the institution’s successes in 2016:
Adesina expressed appreciation for Germany’s Marshall Plan with Africa and willingness to support the development and coordination of the proposed Compact with Africa at the country level.
The Members of the Parliamentary Committee were positively impressed that Africa is committed to its own development. They strongly endorsed the President’s vision for Africa and the High 5s, noting that the Bank’s priorities were fully aligned with those of Germany with regards to Africa’s development. They urged the Bank President to place good governance more prominently among the Bank’s priorities. They also expressed in interest in what the Bank is doing in the area of youth employment and women’s empowerment. Finally, the legislators expressed the need for the Bank to attach greater importance to the development impact of its projects, specifically with the goals of reducing poverty and inequality.