AfDB Annual Meetings to Focus on Africa’s Future
Each year, the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) hold their Annual Meetings to review the Bank Group’s operations in the previous year as well as examine and endorse its operations for the current year. The Governors and other invitees comprising development experts, academics, business people, civil society and the media also discuss a range of issues related to Africa’s future: the economic development of the Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs).
This year, the meetings will bring participants together in Kigali, to share perspectives on the theme: “The next 50 years: The Africa we want.” This overarching theme reflects a vision for the continent based on aspirations of its countries and their people.
The 2014 meetings constitute a major milestone as they coincide with the celebrations of the institution’s 50th Anniversary. Also, amidst the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the institution is moving back from its Temporary Relocation Agency in Tunis to its Headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
About 3,000 people are expected in the meetings, including Government delegations from the Bank’s 78 member countries. Featured seminars, briefings and press conferences will focus not only on the global economy and international development, but chiefly on Africa’s economic perspectives and its financial markets under the vision of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. More specifically, participants will reflect on the aspirations of the African people, which have risen in recent years.
The Agenda 2063 underscores, amongst others, a prosperous continent, based on inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth; an integrated continent – based on Pan-Africanism; a continent characterized by good governance, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. It also appeals for a peaceful and secure continent, with strong cultural identity, values and ethics, as well as a strong support from global partners. All these points touch on the Bank’s key pillars, as envisioned in its Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022), which is built on two overarching pillars: promoting inclusive growth, and ensuring that this growth is sustainable through a gradual transition to green growth.
Africa is taking major strides to improve its economy, which is necessary for building shared prosperity, says AfDB Chief Economist and Vice-President Mthuli Ncube: “Its growth during the past decade marked the longest period of unbroken increases in per capita incomes since the 1960s. Demography on the continent has improved with higher rates of schooling and lower mortality rates. Export performance, domestic demand and investments have remained strong; and, on stability, 85% of Africans live in countries that are relatively stable while almost 94% of Africa’s GDP is generated in these countries.”
However, many recognize that to achieve its full potential, Africa’s development trajectory over the next 50 years must be firmly anchored in the aspirations of its people – women and men, young and old, rural and urban populations.
With a proper enabling environment, adequate infrastructure and policies that promote competition, entrepreneurship and job creation, the private sector can support shared prosperity and offer real opportunities to all citizens, especially women and young adults. But, this transformation will demand considerable effort from African leaders and their people.
Indeed, every effort is made to ensure that the Bank Group’s 2014 Annual Meetings provide an effective forum for sharing the institution’s activities, challenges and achievements with the world. The events will be featured on the Bank’s website, and shared through live-streamed feeds and online conversations on Twitter and other social media platforms using the Annual Meetings hashtag, #AfDBAM2014, #AfricaWeWant and #AfDBat50.