Infrastructure remain crucial for Africa’s transformation – AfDB

President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina
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By Lucy Ogalue

Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Group President, African Development Bank (AfDB), says infrastructure development remain critical for the effective transformation of Africa.

Adesina told newsmen on the sidelines of the ongoing AfDB Annual General Meeting 2024 on Tuesday in Nairobi that infrastructure were the backbone of Africa’s transformation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting marks the 60th anniversary and 59th Annual Assembly of the AfDB and the 50th meeting of the African Development Fund (ADF).

According to him, having ports, rail lines, power transmission lines, transport corridors and digital infrastructure, among other things, makes economies work.

The AfDB president reiterated the bank’s commitment to transformation, disclosing that it had invested about $50 billion in infrastructure on the continent.

“From rails to ports to airports, to digital infrastructure, the transport corridors, water and sanitation and all of that.

”And so, we will continue as the African Development Bank to push more for infrastructure.

“And that is why we inaugurated the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA).

“That alliance aims to mobilise 10 billion dollars of private sector financing for infrastructure because Africa is still developing its infrastructure,” he said.

Adesina said the continent’s transformation also depended on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“To turn the AfCFTA into reality, we need policies that allow industrial manufacturing and specialised value chains to gain comparative advantage in national, regional, and global markets.

“Energy is also critical for economic transformation on the continent, as you cannot industrialise in the dark.

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“You cannot be competitive in the dark and grow economies when you have no power. Electricity is the lifeblood of the body.

“It is like the blood in your body or mind. If you do not have it, your economy dies. It is that simple, and there’s no two ways about it,” he said.

Adesina, who highlighted some of the bank’s investments in power, said AfDB and the World Bank recently agreed to connect 300 million Africans to electricity by 2030.

The AfDB president also reiterated the need for Africa to feed itself, adding that the AfDB, to drive this, invested about 1.5 billion dollars in a facility called Africa Emergency Food Production Facility.

He said beyond this was political will and the need for collaboration.

“Through collaboration, $72 billion was raised by the stakeholders globally to help boost Africa’s agricultural production,” he said.

NAN reports that the AfDB annual meeting, which started on Monday, would end on Friday. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Ayodeji Alabi/Bashir Rabe Mani

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