By Akinwumi A. Adesina
ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire, Feb 26, 2018 (IPS) — Over the past few years, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has confirmed its position as Africa’s premier development finance institution, generating significant impact on the continent’s economic and social development.
To keep this positive momentum going, the Bank has recently re-designed its organizational structure as well as its development and business delivery model in order to become more effective and responsive to Africa’s economic challenges.
A more effective Bank will help African countries address many long-standing challenges, namely the immense electricity and power deficit, food insecurity, poverty, poor job creation, low levels of regional integration and industrialization, gender inequality, low levels of financial inclusion, particularly for women, and the rise in terrorism.
Overall, the new structure will expand the Bank’s business by moving it closer to its clients, improve the way it delivers services, and ensure that it can provide meaningful and effective development impact for its regional member countries.
A more effective execution of the Bank’s High 5 strategy will accelerate the continent’s economic transformation since, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the High 5s will allow Africa to achieve 90 percent of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. The High 5s are therefore the accelerators of Africa’s development.
The High 5s are backed by exceptionally strong investment programs, such as the New Deal on Energy for Africa with investments of $12 billion, the leveraging of an additional $45 billion to $50 billion into the power sector by 2020, as well as the delivery of 130 million new grid connections, 75 million off-grid connections, and secure access to clean cooking energy for 130 million households by 2025.
In agriculture and food, the Bank is investing a total of $24 billion over the next 10 years to help African countries achieve food security and make Africa a net food exporter. In terms of industrial policy, the Bank will make investments of up to $40 billion over the next 10 years under various flagship programs to raise Africa’s industrial outputs.
Finally, the Bank is determined to raise the quality of life of all Africans and, among other programs, create at least 25 million jobs for African youth over a 10-year period, turning Africa’s demographic assets into an economic dividend, accelerating the industrialization process of the continent, and tackling economic fragmentation across African countries.
In a nutshell, a more effective African Development Bank means a better developed Africa.
Akinwumi A. Adesina is President of the African Development Bank.