Bamako, 3 December, 2005 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group will strongly support regional efforts to establish centers of excellence in science and technology in Africa, according to Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka.
In a statement released during the 23rd Africa-France Summit in Bamako, Mali, Mr. Kaberuka said the AfDB, working in concert with the African Union, the Secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and regional as well as sub-regional organizations, will reinforce measures to reduce the scientific gap that separates Africa from the rest of the world.
The President said efforts will focus on developing infrastructure, strengthening research capacity and promoting innovation and creativity through reinforced public private partnerships.
Mr. Kaberuka underscored the laudable progress achieved in Africa in economic growth rates, improving governance, reducing conflict and democratic opening and transparency but recognized the growing sense of exclusion among Africa's youth. "For many young people, the future is one of uncertainty and instability," he said.
The Bank Group President noted that unemployment, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the impact on youth of armed conflict, and reduced access to social services had all contributed to the migration of young Africans and a brain drain to other continents.
The theme of the Bamako 2-day summit which brought together heads of state and government of France and the nations of Africa is "Africa's Youth: Vitality, Creativity and Aspirations".