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Adesina reels out plans to help Africa build boldly and smartly


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AKINWUMI Adesina, President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) says he would ensure that the bank make policies that will help Africa to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic as he assumed his second tenure in office on Tuesday.

Speaking at the bank headquarters in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, Adesina who stated that Africa’s recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic would be long and challenging, added that his mission was to help the continent to build boldly and smartly.

“We plan to focus in the areas of health, climate and the environment. As we look into the future, working with the boards of directors, the bank will pay its attention to supporting Africa with quality health care infrastructure and building on its comparative advantage,” the AfDB president said in his speech after he was sworn-in for his second term in office.

He promised  that with the support of various heads of states across the continent, the bank will invest in the infrastructural deficits and in human capital across the continent. 

“The bank infrastructure work will focus on economic infrastructure, quality physical infrastructure, quality health infrastructure. COVID-19 ought to open up new opportunities and a greater sense of urgency to build Africa’s manufacturing capacity, industrial development and critically needed industrial value chains that must be supported by the enabling infrastructure and policies,” he said.

According to him, special attention would be given to regional industrial value chains and strengthening of financial markets in order to expand intra and inter regional trade competitiveness and to boost continental free trade.

“Your excellencies, let there be no doubts the challenges ahead are still many including poverty, inequality, fragility, high youth unemployment, significant infrastructure financing gaps and sustainable debts management,” he said.

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“As we look to the future, let me assure you, the bank will play a greater role in policy dialogue with countries. With this support, sustainable debts management, boost green growth and accelerate the provision of jobs for youths on our beloveth continent.” 

Adesina further pledged to affect the lots of Africans by boosting the capital base of the bank through expanding its partnerships outside the continent.

While vowing to embark on programmes that would affect youths within the continent, he said he will also embark on policies and programmes that will make agriculture attractive and easy within the continent.

“More than ever before, we will expand our partnerships: financial partnership, knowledge partnerships and investment partnerships. Stronger inclusive partnerships with civil societies, academia and knowledge centers of excellence.

“We reach out and till more global capital towards Africa,  joining investments hands across the globe to support the needs of the continent.

“The bank will leverage its brand, its knowledge and resources to help do more and better for Africa. We will deepen the African investment forum and make it a critical drive for these bold investment partnerships to help more African faster forward.”

Adesina was unanimously re-elected by the Board of Governors of the bank in August  after he was cleared in July from ethical wrongdoings by an Independent Review Panel set up by the Board of Governors of the Bank, following a complaint by the United States to review the process by which two previous organs of the Bank: the Ethics Committee of the Bank, and the Board of Governors had previously exonerated him.

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Speaking further, he disclosed that the bank will support the establishment of youth entrepreneurship investment banks.

These banks, he explained would help to mobilize and deploy capital to drive the entrepreneurship of youths of Africa in ways that are systematic, scalable and sustainable.

“The shadows of youths unemployment and migration out of Africa must give way to a glowing light of successful youths driven businesses or across Africa. Africa youths must stay in Africa, develop Africa and project Africa glorious future,” he said.

He added that the AfDB  would build on the great successes of agriculture by scaling up technologies to reach tens of millions of farmers, supporting Africa to build competitive agricultural value chains.

“We will add value to what will be produced in Africa and provides creative Hi-Tech opportunities for massive youth engagement in agriculture and agribusiness.”

In assuring the commitment of the bank under his leadership to grow Africa, Adesina said the future beckons the bank to be more agile and more selective, to scale up what is working already and reinforce its own institutional and human capacity.

“We will strengthen even areas of our weaknesses. Our banks must ensure its own long-term financial sustainability to drive Africa growth further deeper and faster the years to come. We must realize the dreams of people of Africa, a healthy Africa, a more resilient Africa and a more developed Africa.”

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He stated that he has  a vision to build on “our collective achievements over the next five years.”

“A vision to build a much stronger and resilient Africa Development Bank Group with the leadership and capacity to deliver greater quality impact for the people of Africa while remaining financially strong and sustainable. So, our focus will be on institutions, people, delivery and sustainability.”

“Each of these are encapsulated in the following five areas which we will combine with the programmatic high five to transform the development landscape of Africa: build a stronger institution, strengthen human capacity, enhance effectiveness, deepen quality impact and maintain financial sustainability,” he said


Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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