The African Union (AU) on Tuesday in Lusaka, Zambia, threw their weight behind the new economic agenda unveiled by the African Development Bank (AFDB) for sustainable transformation of the continent.
AU President and sitting President of Chad, Idriss Deby said their political will to support the developmental initiative was “because it touches on the heart of Africa.” The new economic blueprint expected to leverage development growth revolves around energy, agriculture, climate change, industrialization and integration. The initiative tagged “the High-5s,” Deby said, would provide proactive economic development road map for turning the continent into an industrial hub.
The Chadian President also pledged the support of AU, and African Heads of State in actualizing the AFDB economic agenda by 2025.
Deby urged development partners, especially financial institutions, to collaborate with AFDB and the various governments of the 54 member countries in making the economic agenda impact positively on Africans.
Mr Chagwa Lungu, Zambian President said that the ongoing AFDB annual general meeting (AGM) remain a veritable platform for various stakeholders to examine the bank’s economic agenda and warehouse it for speedy development of Africa.
Declaring open the AGM, Lungu urged Africans not to allow the continent energy deficit and climate change to derail the inherent potential of Africa as the new economic and investment destination.
Using their subsisting experiences in Zambia, Lungu warned that unless Africans move faster in tackling the continent energy crisis and climate change, the projected economic growth of 7 percent would remain elusive.
According to him, the negative impact of energy deficit and climate change has already metamorphose into food security, ailing industries, high youth unemployment, poor utilisation of opportunities provided by information, communication and technological revolution.
Earlier, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of AFDB, said that their choice on the five key areas was driven by the bank’s commitment in making Africa meet her needs in a challenged and depressed global economy.
AFDB driving force toward speedy economic transformation, Adesina said, stemmed from the
need liberate more than 500 million Africans out of the poverty line. “We must accelerate Africa development. With over 5,000 Africans dead in the Mediterranean, fleeing to Europe, Africa cannot to have low ambitions. “With climatic change shrinking the size of the Lake Chad basin, decimating livelihoods and undermining regional security for Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, Africa cannot afford to have low ambitions,” he said.
Under his leadership, Adesina who chaired the first AGM since assuming duty in September 2015 said that AFDB would provide leadership in the economic development of the continent. He commended AU leadership, heads of states and government for their support in giving Africa a new economic development impetus.