By Emmanuel Okogba
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AfDB) Group says he will build a much stronger and resilient bank to deliver greater quality impacts on African people.
Adesina made the pledge, while giving his inaugural speech during a virtual ceremony of the swearing-in of the AfDB President on Tuesday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The AfDB president said this would be done with the leadership and capacity of the bank, while remaining financially strong and sustainable.
He said that the bank, over the next five years would focus on institution, people, delivery, and 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 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 rigour.
The High 5s are Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialise Africa; Integrate Africa; and 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, adding that the bank was about people 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 per cent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
He said the bank’s climate financing had expanded from nine per cent in 2015 to 36 per cent by 2019, representing a 400 per cent increase.
“We’ve now targeted to reach 25 billion dollars in climate finance by 2021.
“Our non-sovereign operations for the private sector increased 40 per cent from 1.5 billion dollars in 2015 to 2.1 billion dollars in 2019 with the highest level of 2.5 billion dollars achieved in 2016.”
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 and staff, we will be ready from today, yet again to roll up our sleeves and continue our collective work to deliver even greater results on our High 5s.” (NAN)