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Africa’s Major Challenge: Financing, According to AfDB



Prof. Kevin Urama, the Chief Economist at the African Development Bank (AfDB), highlighted that financing has consistently been the primary hurdle hindering Africa’s rapid transformation.

Urama, who also serves as the Vice-President for Governance and Knowledge Management at AfDB, conveyed this during a virtual pre-media conference held on Wednesday in anticipation of the upcoming 2024 AfDB Annual Meetings.

The forthcoming meetings are scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from May 27 to May 31, encompassing various knowledge-sharing events such as the presidential dialogue and a high-level session focusing on the launch of the African Economic Outlook Report 2024, among others.

“Our research findings consistently underscore the critical role of financing as the predominant impediment to driving Africa’s transformation within the evolving global landscape,” remarked Urama, emphasizing the significance of financial experts from across the continent coming together to explore avenues for catalyzing Africa’s advancement.

The overarching theme for the event is “Africa’s Transformation, the African Development Bank Group, and the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture.’

Expounding on the theme, Urama elucidated that it was specifically chosen to provide governors within the bank group an opportunity to exchange insights regarding the progress made within their respective economies, along with sharing the challenges confronted and the key reforms undertaken to surmount them.

In an earlier address, Prof. Vincent Nmehielle, the Secretary-General of AfDB, highlighted that the annual meetings are primarily mandated events of the bank, emphasizing that they serve as a platform for the boards of governors to review and deliberate on the bank’s annual report, finances, operations, and other pertinent activities and decisions from the preceding fiscal year.

The discussions during the meetings culminate in the adoption of resolutions, crucial decisions, and definitive conclusions. A notable feature will be the governors’ dialogue, fostering interaction and engagement between the governors and the bank’s top executives on strategically significant issues concerning the continent, framed under the theme “Mobilising the Private Sector to Accelerate Africa’s Transformation,” as mentioned by Nmehielle.

Amid ongoing challenges facing the continent, the dialogue will reflect on AfDB’s ten-year strategy, particularly focusing on the bank’s pivotal role in galvanizing the private sector through Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to expedite Africa’s development agenda.

Nmehielle underscored the milestone of AfDB turning 60 this year, earmarking the occasion on the third day of the meeting with a special theme, ‘The AfDB 60 Years of Making a Difference,’ underscoring the imperative to further consolidate sustainable economic growth across Africa.

In a bid to accelerate the continent’s transformation journey, the bank will conduct a series of knowledge-sharing events aligned with the aforementioned themes, aiming to expedite the optimal transformation of the continent.