The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina, said that Africa has lost a decade of economic growth due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. He also noted the multilateral bank has launched programmes to deal with the economic downturn.
Adesina disclosed this during AfDBs’ 2020 Annual Meeting, during which he also declared his intention to seek re-election as the multilateral bank’s President.
Mr Adesina stressed the need for unity to enable the continent to pull together and stay focused on the goal of fighting the effect of the pandemic on Africa’s economy. According to him, “pulling together has always been the strength of the African Development Bank.”
He added that the continent has lost a decade of economic gains due to the pandemic and that Africa’s recovery would be long and difficult.
“Now we must help Africa to build back, boldly, but smartly, paying greater attention to quality growth: health, climate, and the environment,” he added. He added that the bank’ Board of Directors were able to launch support schemes during “these challenging times”
“The Bank launched a $10 billion COVID-19 Response Facility to support African countries. We launched a $3 billion social bond on the global market – the largest US dollar-denominated social bond ever in world history.”
Mr Adesina added that the response facility is a sign of the bank’s ambition and commitment to ensuring support to stabilize African economies, citing that as Africa stabilizes so must the bank.
“The past several months no doubt have been challenging for the Bank. Yet, we pulled together. I would like to sincerely thank you all, our esteemed Governors, under the excellent leadership and wisdom of the Chairperson, Minister Niale Kaba, for joining hands to steady the Bank,” he added.
Mr. Adesina urged the need for a strong and stable African Development Bank, which would be able to support the continent’s economic rebound leading to healthier livelihoods for the people.
He said his election as the Bank’s Chief in 2015 was a great honour and responsibility, citing his promise to work hard and accelerate development in the continent. “My vision for the High5s was my bond — my oath of office, my compass!”.
Adesina also stated that the impact of his five years as President has enabled 18 million Africans have access to electricity, 141 million people have benefitted from improved agricultural technologies for food security. 15 million people have access to finance, 101 million people have access to improved transport and 60 million people have gained access to water and sanitation.
“At this Annual Meetings, I offer myself to you, our Governors, for your consideration for election for a second term, as President. I do so, with humility, ” Adesina added.