African Development Bank(AfDB) and NEPAD Nigeria as well as NEPAD Business Groups, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, have all agreed to collaborate with one another in the delivery of developmental programmes and projects to the African people in line with the underlying mandates of the NEPAD vision.
The above decision,which was reached in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, last week, 30-31 October 2017, was the high point of a 2-day meeting held to evolve adequate bases for collaboration among the groups in the bid to further their collective aspirations for the development of the African continent, especially, in relation to food security and employment-creation.
Speaking at the event, as part of his Welcome Address, President of the Bank and World Food Prize current awardee, Nigerian born Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said, though, Africa was late in its agricultural development agenda in comparison to other continents, there was hope that, with speedy actions, success would be achieved.
Dr. Adesina, while decrying the ugly syndrome of what he termed” a lot of Action Plans and No Action “in Africa, emphasised the need to quicken actions on programmes on agricultural development in Africa in order to bridge the gap already created in that direction on the continent.
It was in relation to the above, Dr. Adesina, informed, that the AfDB had identified what it termed: High 5 Priorities as quick wins that would enable the kind of growth that would be of immense benefits to the continent as a whole. Such areas include:
- Light up and Power Africa
- Feed Africa
- Feed the People of Africa
- Industrialise Africa and
- Integrate Africa.
To achieve the above, Dr. Adesina said the AfDB has been reorganised for better delivery of its mandate and responsiveness to the needs of the African continent. He used the occasion to inform his audience that the Bank has adopted a new business model, which has also occasioned the establishment of three new Departments of: Power, Energy and Green Growth; Agriculture, Human and Social Development as well as that of the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation; each of which is headed by a Vice President.
Concluding, Dr.Adesina also informed the Groups that the AfDB has, in the quest for increased efficiency in its operations, established five Regional Integration and Business Delivery Offices across the continent, which, he said, would be commissioned on November 19-20 this year Nigeria, he informed, was one of 5 such Offices. As part of the areas of the Bank’s current investment focus, its President identified the Private Sector, Solar Energy, Agriculture, Youths and Women as areas of priority attention.
Programmes in relation to the above include: Grid-based System and Off the Grid System, which encompasses a 500m USD for facilitating business system for off the grid systems, efforts in clean energy for women and Africa 50, a solar grid system being experimented in Jigawa State, Nigeria.
Others include:1B USD signed between AfDB, World Bank, Rockefeller and Bill Gates Foundations for technologies in agricultural transformation and another 3B USD to support women in Africa; 25M USD for job-creation for African youth; 150Euro for Boost Africa, an initiative that will be carried out with European Investors; 300m USD for skills development as well as several other empowerment initiatives for the continent, including the oncoming African Investment Forum slated for Abidjan on November 8-9 this year.
Reacting to the Address of the President of the AfDB, Chairman, NEPAD Business Group, Nigeria, who is also President, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief(Dr.) Mrs Nike Akande, expressed gratitude to Dr. Adesina for the reception accorded to the visiting Nigerian delegation. She used the opportunity to present the activities of the Group and its challenges, while promising to strive with NEPAD Nigeria to deliver the vision of a viable Africa on all areas of need.
In her own remarks, National Coordinator /CEO, NEPAD Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu, appreciated the motivational leadership style of Dr. Adesina. she called for stronger synergy in the activities of stakeholders in Africa’s development, while soliciting strong support from the AfDB for the programmes and projects of her Agency. She also used the occasion to promise collaboration with the Bank, while also regaling her audience with the challenges and achievements of NEPAD Nigeria since she assumed office.
On his own, Chairman of NEPAD Business Group, Cote d’Ivoire, and President, International Cooperation in Africa, Nbengue Guy, also expressed the willingness of his Group to partner with the Bank, while thanking Dr. Adesina for his reception.
Among those present at the meeting were officials of the collaborating Organisations, including Vice Presidents of the AfDB.
SA(Media and Publicity)
November 5, 2017