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Vaccines and debt relief are critical key to Africa’s recovery from COVID-19 – AfDB boss

The President of the AfDB has urged for Africa’s debt forgiveness as a key path to recovering from the pandemic.



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Fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for Africans, as well as debt relief, would help to drive the African economies to the path of faster recovery from the pandemic.

This was disclosed by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina while speaking at a virtual event held in his honour as the outgoing African of the Year of African Leadership Magazine.

According to Adesina,

  • “There is light at the end of the tunnel – it just happens to be a very long tunnel. I am very positive that African economies will bounce back over the next two years, but the speed of recovery will depend on ensuring that Africa gets enough vaccines for its population. The world must not short-change Africa on access to vaccines
  • “To recover faster, Africa will need significant debt forgiveness from bilateral and official creditors.
  • “While developed countries have been spending trillions of dollars for fiscal stimulus, Africa does not have such resources. The payment for vaccines is already adding to the already high debt burden.
  • “Together, we will create new opportunities for African youth and trigger a youth-based wealth system for Africa. Together, we will ensure that we deliver financing for African women.
  • “Together, we will support Africa to build world-class, quality healthcare infrastructure, while ensuring also that the continent builds its pharmaceutical and vaccine industrial production.”

What they are saying

According to African Leadership Magazine Chairman Ken Giami,

  • “African Development Bank had scored some outstanding achievements in 2020 under President Adesina and had “infected” Africa with optimism”.
  • “ALM feels very proud of the President’s contribution as he has raised the performance bar for future African of the Year winners. Indeed, his award was a call for greater service to the people, especially at a time when Africa needed true leadership.”

What you should know

  • The virtual event was attended by Douye Diri, the Governor of Bayelsa State as well as Benoy Berry, Chairman of Contec Global Worldwide.
  • A key highlight of the event was Dr. Adesina’s induction into the magazine’s African Leadership Hall of Fame for “raising the performance bar” in Africa.
  • Several African leaders have won the African Leadership Magazine African of the Year award as follows: former Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011); Sudanese businessman Mo Ibrahim (2012); former Vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar (2013); former President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete (2014); Tanzanian businessman and philanthropist Mo Dewji (2016); and President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame (2017).

Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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