AfDB Annual Meetings Discuss Next 50 Years in Africa

AfDB23 May 2014: Governors adopted a number of resolutions and approved programmes and initiatives at the 49th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Meetings took place under the theme, ‘The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want.' The Annual Meeting took place from 19-23 May 2014, in Kigali, Rwanda.

In a Governors' statement, African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors said a prosperous, peaceful Africa in the next 50 years “is critical to harnessing the ‘demographic dividend' of Africa's youth, maximizing the opportunities in agriculture and natural resources, for economic transformation and industrialization of African economies and developing timely solutions to the challenge of jobs creation.”

The Governors also: urged AfDB to implement its gender strategy throughout regional, national and sector operations; urged AfDB to implement its strategy for addressing conflicts; approved AdDB's 2013 Annual Report and future operations; and welcomed the implementation of the roadmap for returning AfDB headquarters to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

The AfDB Board approved the establishment of the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), a US$2 billion co-financing fund between the AfDB and the People's Bank of China to enable AfDB to respond to the needs of regional member countries and private sector clients. The AfDB and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) signed a €5 million grant agreement to address climate change. NDF, which provides financing for climate change initiatives in low-income countries, is a joint development finance institution among Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

“Agriculture can no longer be treated as a social activity or a normal development program,” declared Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, and agriculture “must be treated as a business and managed as an enterprise because it is the future of Africa's socio-economic development.” Adesina was speaking at a 'From Farm to Market' session on challenges in Africa's agricultural sector, including low production of cash crops and food, and irrigation and mechanization programs and training youth to contribute to the sector.

“Many African cities have developed haphazardly, resulting in the decline of public services, in slum proliferation and increases in poverty,” according to Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, AfDB, at a session on ‘Africa's Cities of the Future.' Participants recommended: planning urbanization; creating enabling environments, including adequate infrastructure; and ensuring that urban development emphasizes green growth and environmental protection.

Sessions also took place on, inter alia: green growth; natural resources management; and the Power Africa Initiative, which addressed challenges faced by investors in financing power projects. A high-level panel addressed ‘Ending conflict and building peace in Africa: A Call to Action.' [AfDB Press Release] [Annual Meeting Website] [AfDB Press Release on AGTF] [AfDB Press Release on NDF] [AfDB Press Release on Urbanization] [AfDB Press Release on Power Africa] [AfDB Press Release on Ending Conflict] [AfDB Press Release on Agriculture] [Publication: AfDB Annual Report 2013]