AfDB To Improve Lives Of Africans

Yemisi Izuora

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has promised to build a much stronger and resilient bank to deliver greater quality impacts on African people.

Adesina made the pledge during his inaugural speech at a virtual ceremony of the swearing-in of the AfDB President on Tuesday, September 1, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The AfDB president said this would be done with the leadership and also capacity of the bank; while remaining financially strong and sustainable.

He said that the bank, over the next five years would focus on the institution, people, delivery, as well as sustainability.

“Each of these is encapsulated in the following five areas which combine with the programmatic High 5s to transform the development landscape of Africa.

“Build a stronger institution; strengthen human capacity; enhance effectiveness; deepen quality and impact, and also maintain financial sustainability,” he said.

He said the High 5s of the bank, which were developed to accelerate the delivery of the Ten-Year Strategy; had been implemented with deliberateness; speed; and also rigour.

The High 5s are Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialise Africa; Integrate Africa; as well as improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.

He said that over the past five years, the bank’s High 5 programmes had impacted 335 million people; also adding that the bank was about people’s impact.

“The bank has delivered impressive results on these High 5s: 18 million people with access to electricity; 141 million people had access to improved agricultural technologies for food security;

“And 15 million people with access to finance from private investments; 101 million people with access to improved transport from infrastructure; and 60 million people with access to water and sanitation,” he said.

Adesina said the UNDP had shown that achieving the High 5s would lead to the achievement of 90 percent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

He said that through the Africa Investment Forum in 2018 and 2019; the bank was able to attract a combined 78.8 billion dollars worth of investment interests into Africa.

The AfDB president said that the bank was committed to continuing its work to deliver greater results on the High 5s.

“With the strong support of the African heads of state and governments; governors of the bank; ministers of finance; the board of directors as well as staff; we will be ready from today; yet again to roll up our sleeves and also continue our collective work to deliver even greater results on our High 5s.”

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