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Afe Babalola University Confers Honorary Doctorate Degree on African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina
October 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
In his acceptance address, Adesina lauded the Institution as an epitome of academic excellence commended its high standards of discipline
ADO EKITI, Nigeria, October 22, 2018/ — The Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti,  Nigeria, has conferred a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa on the President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), Akinwumi Adesina in recognition of his immense contributions to socio-economic development on the continent.

John Olachy Momoh, Chairman of Channels Media Group, Nigeria’s multi award-winning television station also received an Honoris Causa at the  6thConvocation ceremony of the University held on Sunday 21 October 2018 at the University Campus in Ado Ekiti.

“The honorary recipients are Nigerian ambassadors who have conquered the world due to the quality and functional education they received,” said Aare  Afe Babalola, Founder of the University.

“They were chosen on the basis of their distinguished reputations, outstanding achievements, exemplary leadership and extraordinary contributions to humanity. This is the highest honour an academic institution can give and today, they are richly-deserved,” he added.

In his acceptance address, Adesina lauded the Institution as an epitome of academic excellence commended its high standards of discipline. To the graduating students,”invest your time and energy in making the right decisions. The story and history of this great institution is one of the right decisions that should be well-studied by those involved in tertiary education globally,” he said.

Afe Babalola University is a private university established in 2010 in Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, with the ambition to address the disconnect between curricular programs and labor market demands.  The University operates through five colleges for undergraduates (Science, Social & Management Sciences, Law, Engineering and Medicine & Health Science) as well as a Post graduate school. In November 2013, it was appointed to mentor the College of Industrial Development (UID), Accra, Ghana thereby becoming the first university in Nigeria to mentor a foreign university. This year, a total of 4013 students graduated, including 43 pioneer medical doctors.

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African Development Bank showcases investment opportunities in Africa to Nordic investors
October 16, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Bank presented its strategy for the transformation of African economies and showcased investment opportunities on the continent
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, October 15, 2018/ — The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) in a multidisciplinary team roadshows has presented financial products and investment opportunities to Nordic investors to leverage more access to financing. The roadshows brought together more than 50 private sector companies, investors and government and public institutions in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

The aim of the event was to bring the Bank closer to customers in order to increase awareness of key private sector stakeholders to understand the Bank’s financial and risk mitigation products for investment projects. The roadshows also generated significant interests of businesses to the Africa Investment Forum, the Bank’s maiden market place, scheduled for November 7-9 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The first roadshow took place in Norway on 24-25 September, followed by Sweden on September 27- 28. In Finland, the Bank met key private sector companies, private funds, and pension funds from 1-2 October and the final event was in Denmark on October 4-5.

The Bank presented its strategy for the transformation of African economies and showcased investment opportunities on the continent. The highly interactive event targeted commercial banks, institutional investors including pension funds, asset managers and insurers as well as individual investors across the Nordic region.

“Nordic countries are very important for the development of Africa and we want to see more investments coming from these countries. Hence, the roadshow organized to showcase African investment opportunities and to present the Bank as a gateway for their investments”, said Olivier Eweck, Director, Syndication, Co-financing and Client Solutions Department, adding that “several private investors and companies have shown keen interest in the Africa Investment Forum”.

The African Development Bank team discussed key roles in accelerating Africa’s investment opportunities across the Nordic region in line with the Bank’s development priorities for Africa as enshrined in the High 5s.

The Bank sees its partnership with long-term investors from the Nordic region as important and welcomes their perspective and visions to support new investments in infrastructure, and to foster sustainable development initiatives in Africa.

The Africa Investment Forum is a novel platform for international business and social impact investors looking to transact and invest funds in Africa. It will connect investors with both public and private sector projects throughout the continent.

The Bank expects that holding the event under one roof would provide an ideal platform for interfacing with its partners, reduce intermediation costs, improve the quality of project information and documentation, and increase action-oriented engagements between African governments and the private sector.

 

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Nigerian Defence Academy Confers Honors on African Development President Akinwumi Adesina
October 7, 2018 | 0 Comments
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The Status Quo is Unacceptable: It’s time to normalize the narratives on African Migration, Experts Urge
September 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
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African Development Bank Launches first Africa-to-Africa (A2A) Investment Report
September 25, 2018 | 0 Comments
Africa-to-Africa Investment Report: A first look, finds that more African companies are investing in Africa
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 24, 2018/ — Opportunities for investment in Africa outweigh the obstacles, according to a report by leading African companies covered in the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) new Africa-to-Africa (A2A) Investment Report, the first ever report on inter-African trade published by the Bank.

The report unearths the realities African companies face when investing in the continent, the emerging trends in A2A investment and the steps African policymakers can take to accelerate intra-African investment.

Africa-to-Africa Investment Report: A first look (https://bit.ly/2Q3p3kh), finds that more African companies are investing in Africa. These companies have confidence in the continent’s long-term growth potential; they are at the cutting edge of their industries, and are capitalizing on their knowledge of local markets to generate higher returns and impact.

In line with the Bank’s High 5s  for transforming Africa and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the A2A Report aims to take the conversation on investing in the continent a step further. It shows what African multinationals are doing to drive investments in Africa, d how they are expanding their African footprint, and gives insights into how to scale-up investments more widely.

As global foreign direct investment to Africa falls, intra-African investments are picking up pace,” said Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. “Africa’s big companies are increasingly on the move and expanding their African footprint. It is through more investments that the continent can build inclusive, sustainable growth and development. We have made this our collective commitment in the High 5s”.

The A2A Report features eight publicly-listed and privately-owned African companies operating in consumer services, finance, industry, media and diversified portfolios and investment, with home bases in North Africa (Morocco), West Africa (Nigeria, Togo), East and Central Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya) and Southern Africa (Mauritius, South Africa).

Highlights from the Report’s intra-African investment stories include the importance of having a clear long-term vision, getting up-to-date investment facts, building local partnerships to deliver on the ground and tapping into talent in the local labour force.

The business case for A2A investment is strongly connected to the continent’s integration, growth and prosperity. Although challenges remain, the A2A Report is the start of a broader discussion to fast-track investments, move beyond the wish list and make deals happen. The continent’s policymakers can inspire a greater level of confidence and promote A2A investments by highlighting their role as dependable business partners for African investors.

The Report is part of the Bank Group’s continued championing of investment across Africa, along with the first Africa Investment Forum (AIF) (AfricaInvestmentForum.com), scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 7-9 November 2018.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

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African Development Bank, mariner investment group, and africa50 price landmark $1 billion impact securitization
September 20, 2018 | 0 Comments
Structured as a synthetic securitization by Mizuho International, Room2Run transfers the mezzanine credit risk on a portfolio of approximately 50 loans from among the African Development Bank’s non- sovereign lending book, including power, transportation, financial sector, and manufacturing assets
MONTREAL, Canada, September 19, 2018/ —

  • With “Room2run,” AfDB Launches Securitization Market for Multilateral Development Bank Sector
  • Transaction is in Direct Response to G20 Action Plan for Mdb Balance Sheet Optimization
  • AfDB Commits to Reinvest freed up Capital into New African Infrastructure Lending, Making Room2run one of the Largest Impact Investments ever
  • Transaction is supported by New European Union Guarantee Tool (European Fund For Sustainable Development)

The African Development Bank (www.AFDB.org), the European Commission (http://EC.Europa.eu/growth/industry/innovation/funding/efsi_en), Mariner Investment Group (www.MarinerInvestment.com), LLC (Mariner), Africa50 (www.Africa50.com), and Mizuho International plc  (www.Mizuho-EMEA.com) today announce the pricing of Room2Run, a US $1 billion synthetic securitization corresponding to a portfolio of seasoned pan-African credit risk. Room2Run is the first-ever portfolio synthetic securitization between a Multi-Lateral Development Bank (MDB) and private sector investors, pioneering the use of securitization and credit risk transfer technology to a new and previously unexplored segment of the financial markets.

Structured as a synthetic securitization by Mizuho International, Room2Run transfers the mezzanine credit risk on a portfolio of approximately 50 loans from among the African Development Bank’s non-sovereign lending book, including power, transportation, financial sector, and manufacturing assets. The portfolio spans the African continent, with exposure to borrowers in North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa. Mariner, the global alternative asset manager and a majority-owned subsidiary of ORIX USA, is the lead investor in the transaction through its International Infrastructure Finance Company II fund (“IIFC II”). Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, is investing alongside Mariner in the private sector tranche. Additional credit protection is being provided by the European Commission’s European Fund for Sustainable Development in the form of a senior mezzanine guarantee.

“Room2Run gives us fresh resources to invest in the projects Africans need most,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group. “Africa has the most promise, the greatest natural resources, and the world’s youngest population. But we also have the world’s most persistent infrastructure deficits. The African Development Bank has the strategy to address these infrastructure finance gaps—and Room2Run gives us the capacity to make it happen.”

Structured as an impact investment, Room2Run is designed to enable the African Development Bank to increase lending in support of its mission to spur sustainable economic development and social progress. In connection with Room2Run, The Bank has committed to redeploy the freed-up capital into renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, including projects in low income and fragile countries.

“On the Impact scale, Room2Run is off the charts,” said Dr. Andrew Hohns, Lead Portfolio Manager and head of the Mariner Infrastructure Investment Management team. “Room2Run answers the call of the G20 for private sector participants to step in and facilitate development finance, providing a template for attracting significant private sector capital into urgently needed projects in developing economies.”

Raza Hasnani, Head of Infrastructure Investment at Africa50 commented, “Room2Run provides an innovative and commercially viable solution to the African Development Bank’s risk management and lending objectives, while paving the way for commercial investors to support and benefit from the growth of infrastructure on the continent. Africa50 is very pleased to participate in this landmark transaction, which is in line with our mandate to drive increased investment in infrastructure in Africa, and to create pathways for long-term institutional capital to flow into this space.”

Room2Run enjoys the support and participation of the European Commission with an investment from the European Fund for Sustainable Development, in the form of a senior mezzanine guarantee. “Only a few days after announcing our renewed Alliance with Africa for sustainable investments and jobs, I am very happy to announce that we are, together with the African Development Bank, launching Room2Run,” commented Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development. “This initiative is a perfect example of what we are doing to support investments in African low income and fragile countries through the External Investment Plan. Through Room2Run, we provide an additional protection to investments in the field of renewable energy. Through our Guarantee, investments under Room2Run will translate into extending supply to many people currently without electricity whilst creating much-needed new jobs.”

Room2Run also directly responds to calls by the G20 that MDBs use their existing resources to full capacity, as articulated in the 2015 G20 MDB Action Plan to Optimize Balance Sheets, as well as calls for greater MDB efforts to crowd-in private investment. The G20 has called on MDBs to share risk in their non-sovereign operations with private investors, including through structured finance, mezzanine financing, credit guarantee programs, and hedging structures.[1],[2]

The Government of Canada has been a global leader in advocating for MDBs to use their existing resources more efficiently and to mobilize private capital for global development. The goal of the G20 MDB Action Plan to Optimize Balance Sheets is to catalyze significant new development financing from the MDBs throughout the real economy in key development regions.  “Attracting more private capital into global development efforts is critical to building economies that work for more and more people around the world,” said Bill Morneau, Canada’s Minister of Finance, “that’s why Canada and our G20 partners have been calling on multilateral development banks to use their existing resources as efficiently as possible, and to look for new ways to attract more private capital.  We are pleased to see the African Development Bank come forward with a transaction that directly responds to both of these objectives.  Room2Run is an innovative solution to a long-standing challenge.”

Juan Carlos Martorell, Co-Head of Structured Solutions at Mizuho International, adds, “Compared to other synthetic securitizations, a major achievement of Room2Run has been to ensure that ratings agencies, and in particular S&P, reflect the merits of the risk transfer into their rating assessments for multilateral development banks. The Bank’s leadership through this transaction has now set the stage for broader adoption of the instrument throughout the MDB community.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

 

Media contacts:

AfDB: Nafissatou Diouf, Manager, Media Relations, N.Diouf@AFDB.org
Mariner Investment Group, LLC: David Press, Tel: (917) 721-7046, David@FeverPress.com
Africa50: Fleur Tchibota, Tel: +212666171099,F.Tchibota@Africa50.com
Mizuho International plc: Gayle Rodrigues, Corporate Communications, Tel: +44 207090 6213,
Gayle.Rodrigues@UK.Mizuho-sc.com
European Commission: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela, Tel: + 32 229-65322

About the African Development Bank Group

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group (www.AFDB.org) is the premier development finance institution in Africa with a mandate to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in the continent, thereby contributing to poverty reduction. The Bank Group achieves this objective by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in the continent; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. The African Development Bank’s authorized capital of around USD 100 billion is subscribed to by 80 member countries made up of 54 African countries and 26 non-African countries.

www.AFDB.org

Media contacts:

AfDB: Nafissatou Diouf, Manager, Media Relations, N.Diouf@AFDB.org
Mariner Investment Group, LLC: David Press, Tel: (917) 721-7046, David@FeverPress.com
Africa50: Fleur Tchibota, Tel: +212666171099,F.Tchibota@Africa50.com
Mizuho International plc: Gayle Rodrigues, Corporate Communications, Tel: +44 207090 6213,
Gayle.Rodrigues@UK.Mizuho-sc.com
European Commission: Carlos Martin Ruiz de Gordejuela, Tel: + 32 229-65322

About the African Development Bank Group

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group (www.AFDB.org) is the premier development finance institution in Africa with a mandate to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in the continent, thereby contributing to poverty reduction. The Bank Group achieves this objective by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in the continent; and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. The African Development Bank’s authorized capital of around USD 100 billion is subscribed to by 80 member countries made up of 54 African countries and 26 non-African countries.

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African Development Bank boosts Cameroon livestock and fish farming with €84 million loan
September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
The loan, approved by the Bank’s Board on Wednesday, will support the modernization of beef, pork and fish production, with significant improvements to food and nutrition in the country
Crossbred cows in a dairy farm in Cameroon. (Photo: Mario García Podesta /IAEA)

Crossbred cows in a dairy farm in Cameroon. (Photo: Mario García Podesta /IAEA)

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, September 13, 2018/ — The African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) has extended a loan of €84 million to Cameroon to support livestock and fish production in the central African country in line with the Bank’s strategies to create jobs and raise household incomes.

The loan, approved by the Bank’s Board on Wednesday, will support the modernization of beef, pork and fish production, with significant improvements to food and nutrition in the country.

Both the Bank and the Government of Cameroon are implementing strategic policies aimed at improving food and nutritional security, reducing poverty and improving production infrastructure in rural areas. The Bank’s signature High 5s strategy includes policies to feed Africa, industrialize the continent and improve the quality of life of its people.

The project approved by the Board will specifically target raising standards and competitiveness in such key livestock value chains as genetics improvement, feeding, slaughter, processing, conservation and transportation. For fish production, the focus will be on rearing, conservation, storage, and processing.

While the project has a national scope, the Cameroon government has identified three main target areas – the North-West for production, and Central and Coastal for consumption. The impact of the cross-cutting actions involved will, however, be felt in the other regions of the country as well.

Key beneficiaries of the project will be stockbreeders and their cooperatives who constitute 45% of the pastoral sector labour force; fish farmers, input producers and sellers, traders, women wholesale fishmongers and processing operators. In addition, up to 350 higher education graduates will be trained and settled as business leaders.

The project’s total cost is estimated at €99.27million (CFAF 65.113 billion. The bank will provide a loan of € 84.00 million (CFAF 55.100 billion) (while the government will contribute €15.27 million (CFAF 10 billion) in counterpart funding.

*AFDB

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Could the future of food in the world depend on what Africa does with agriculture?
September 3, 2018 | 0 Comments
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African Development Bank President Adesina calls for emerging agriculture technologies to optimize farmers’ output
August 11, 2018 | 0 Comments
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African Development Bank Group Annual Meetings: Regional cooperation, structural reforms key to economic transformation
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank is attending the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea
 

Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank is attending the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea

Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank is attending the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea

BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 22, 2018/ — Africa’s development agenda must focus on the socio-cultural and commercial interests of Africans and the upliftment of Africa’s trade and economic ecosystem, said Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, during his address at the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group (https://am.AfDB.org/en) in Busan, Korea.

“Africa’s economic transformation will be best achieved through fast-tracking regional cooperation and the execution of hard-nosed structural reforms that focus on the development of the continent’s human capital and material resources,” said Emir Sanusi II.

The Emir shared insight about revamping African regional integration, trade and economic relations with Executive Directors and Governors of the Bank, comprising Finance, Budget and Economic Planning Ministers from member nations.

An economist and financial risk expert, the monarch traced Africa’s post-colonial economic woes to the continent’s fiscal indiscipline and endemic disregard for its competitive advantages. For these reasons, he asserted, Africa’s development was stunted and its global trade ties lopsided in favour of offshore trading partners.

“Nine out of every 10 countries in Africa have huge trade deficits with China, but Asia developed mostly on domestic investments and resources,” he noted, underscoring the need for African Governments to invest in and promote creativity and indigenous enterprise.

The Emir advocated a series of structural reforms, including strategic investments in key sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, education, and small and medium enterprises. He called for deliberate industrial diversification noting that China has begun to move its mega-sized manufacturing capabilities out of low-cost industries.

African Governments also need to eradicate constitutional provisions and structures that increase the cost of governance at national and sub-national levels, manage demographic growth, and revamp and harmonize moribund and ineffective customs and excise duties that promote cross-border smuggling and revenue losses to governments, he said.

Africa’s debt burden continues to inhibit capital investment in industrialization, he observed, lamenting the misallocation of resources: “We need to begin to ask ourselves, ‘what do we do with the available funds in our coffers?’”

“Perceptions matter. So there is an urgent need for improved transparency, as this is clearly linked to good governance,” he said. “We need to accept that we have a perception problem that we must address. We need to tackle corruption, block leakages and create opportunities for new jobs.”

“Private sector capital is crucial for sustained economic growth but so is government’s intervention in guaranteeing business externalities like power, water and waste management, roads, housing and the legal and regulatory environment for innovation, commerce and industry.”

On trade, the Emir called for a regional and pan-African approach to trade negotiations, a tactical model which should be led by the Bank.

“The African Development Bank has the intellectual resources and clearly is better positioned to negotiate with China on behalf of Africa as a bloc of nations,” he said. “Europe approached global trade as a bloc so why can’t African nations do the same? This is clearly another area in urgent need of the Bank’s intervention.”

President Adesina recalled the Emir’s progressive posture during his time in public service. “As Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was pro-development. He channeled significant investments into agriculture, infrastructure and SMEs.”

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

*AFDB

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Korea is a model for Africa’s industrialization, says President Adesina
May 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Young Africans should be trusted and supported to drive the continent’s industrialization

Adesina

Adesina

The 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank opened in Busan, Korea, on Monday with a call on African Governments to create the right environment for the private sector to lead the continent’s industrial revolution. Participants also advocated for a balance between the role of the State and the private sector.

Korea was presented as a good model for industrialization which African countries can learn from.

“Korea’s example is incredible. Korea was as poor as any African country in the 1960s with a low per capital income. Today, thanks to the determination of its people and its commitment to industrialization, Korea is the 11th biggest economy in the world, an example Africa should learn from,” said African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina at a media breakfast.

Discussions around the media breakfast table focused on the theme of the 2018 Annual Meetings, “Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization,” and the need to tell the great stories of Africa – the story of a resurgent continent ready to take its rightful place in the industrial world.

“If you look at countries that have industrialized – China, South Korea, Singapore and many others – the role of the State was clear. One of the things that I think we need to take out of this conversation is that the State has a great role to play in Africa’s industrial revolution, particularly in terms of industrial policy, providing direction, support for infrastructure, and directing capital to particular industries,” he stressed. “Ethiopia is a very good example.”

Adesina explained that industrialization was selected as the theme of the 2018 Annual Meetings to further showcase what Africa can learn from a country like Korea.

“There is nowhere better than Korea to address this theme. Korea’s incredible success over the last 60 years provides a perfect model to the African Development Bank to redouble its efforts towards Africa’s economic development. Africa is a tremendously blessed continent, but it needs to industrialize, create lots of jobs, and be more competitive in the global market.”

For Africa to witness true agricultural transformation, technologies need to reach farmers to enhance productivity. This was the message of the Leadership4Agriculture Forum, held on Day 1 of the meetings.

“We cannot say we have leadership when we still have 65 percent of the land in Africa uncultivated. We must develop solutions to agriculture and ensure that the sector can grow to a US $1-trillion business,” Adesina said.

Participants in Monday’s Leadership4Agriculture session included Ministers and key partners involved in the development of agricultural industrialization of the continent. They emphasized the need to enhance the competitiveness of Africa’s agriculture sector and to develop industrial value chains required to power the growth of the sector to a world-class industry.

Mima Nedelcovych, President and Chief Executive, Initiative for Global Development, said the African agriculture sector required efforts to improve its competitiveness and called for reforms to ensure that low-interest rate lending is available to the agriculture sector.

“We have to take action as well as talk. Talk is important, but we also want to take people to task,” said Jennifer Blanke, the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, on moving past discussing agricultural challenges to executing solutions for them.

How to leverage the continent’s youth to accelerate economic prosperity through industrialization was the focus of a session on “Bridging innovation and industry: African youth solving continental challenges.”

Badr Idrissi, a young Moroccan industrialist, co-founded ATLAN Space, a start-up that uses artificial intelligence and drone technology to solve some socio-economic problems. The innovation has helped Morocco to effectively fight illegal fishing.

“They say that artificial intelligence is not meant for Africa. We are here to prove that wrong,” Idrissi said.

Idrissi used his 12-year international work experience at Microsoft and Nokia to develop and provide tech solutions, which have created employment for several young Moroccans.

In Kenya, a young banker, Lorna Rutto, quit her job to co-found EcoPost, a social enterprise that has created thousands of sustainable jobs for people in marginalized communities, in addition to conserving the environment.

“I was inspired by what I thought was going wrong in my community. Trees were being cut down and plastic waste was all over the place,” Rutto told the session. “It was very scary for me to resign a good bank job, but I had to fulfil my ambition as an entrepreneur. That was when I developed the idea that waste was a resource and not a thing to throw away.”

EcoPost has so far transformed over 3 million kilograms of plastic waste into plastic lumber, saved over 500 acres of forest and helped mitigate climate change in Kenya.

Adesina commended the young entrepreneurs for converting challenges into opportunities and urged them to continue representing the industrialization of Africa.

“Young people are not just the future of Africa, they are the present,” said Adesina. “They represent entrepreneurship and energy. This must be nurtured, harnessed and scaled up to propel Africa’s industrial revolution and the Bank is here to harness that.”

For more information on the 2018 Annual Meetings, visit: www.afdb.org/am

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Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group: “Accelerating Africa’s industrialization”
March 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
21 – 25 May 2018, Busan Exhibition Conference Center, Busan, Republic of South Korea
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, March 23, 2018/ — The 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank and 44th Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund (http://www.AfDB.org/am), the concessional arm of the Bank Group, are scheduled to take place from May 21-25, 2018 in Busan, Korea.

While Africa has enjoyed strong economic growth for almost two decades, the continent has not seen a commensurate rise in industrialization. On average, African industry generates merely US$700 of GDP per capita, which is barely a fifth in East Asia (US$3,400). In addition, African exports consist of low technology manufactures and unprocessed natural resources, which represent more than 80 percent of exports from Algeria, Angola or Nigeria, for example.

Africa’s rapid industrialization holds the potential for a win-win scenario – for the world, and certainly for the continent. It would also help raise productivity by spurring technological progress and innovation while creating higher-skilled jobs in the formal sector; promote linkages between services and agricultural sectors; between rural and urban economies; and among consumers, intermediates and capital goods industries. Industrialization will also make the prices of manufactured exports less volatile or susceptible to long-term deterioration than those of primary goods, as well as help African countries escape dependence on primary commodity exports.

The theme is generating a lot of interest at a time when Korean and Asian companies are increasingly active in Africa. What lessons can Africa learn from Korea’s development experience? Can relations between both regions, built on a win-win formula, enable Africa claim a more significant share of world trade? Can Afro-Asian commercial and financial ties favor the development of the African private sector? What are the most effective policy levers that could foster structural transformation on the continent? How can the continent learn from the experiences of Korea and leading African nations such as Mauritius, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Rwanda in the industrialization process? These and other questions will be debated during the Busan Annual Meetings.

The Annual Meetings are one of the largest economic gatherings on the continent. Thousands of delegates, Heads of State, public and private sectors stakeholders, development partners and academics, will reflect on Africa’s industrialization − one of the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities (https://www.afdb.org/en/the-high-5) and an avenue to improve the living conditions of Africans.

During the meetings, the Bank will organize a series of knowledge events to generate new ideas for developing and financing Africa’s industrialization. Highlights of the meetings will include a high-level presidential panel on Accelerating African Industrialization: Bringing the future to the present. The panel will be a platform for political leaders from Africa and Korea to present their visions and strategies for industrialization as well as ideas for overcoming implementation challenges.

The Bank will launch the updated version of the African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2018 – the Bank’s flagship economic publication. Several knowledge events are on the programme such as Pathways to Industrialization, where panelists will deliberate on the various trajectories African countries can follow towards sustainable industrialization. A panel on Future of Work and Industrialization will examine how Africa can adapt its educational systems and workers’ skills to suit new economic realities, particularly for industrial development of the continent, among other sessions.

Journalists willing to take part in the Meetings are requested to send to the Bank a designation letter from their news organization at the following address: (media@afdb.org). Upon receipt of the letter, the Bank will send a personal code that will allow online registration. Online registration will close on 13th May 2018. Journalists from countries without Korean diplomatic representation should register early enough in order to get assistance from the Bank in obtaining a visa should they need one.

The African Development Bank will not cover transport and subsistence costs for journalists travelling to Busan.

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