The African Development Bank recently held its Northern African Governors’ Consultative Meetings.
“This is no longer business as usual,” African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina, said at the start of meetings with Finance Ministers from North African countries, held at the Bank’s headquarters, in reference to last year’s annual meeting and the plans to cultivate a closer relationship with ministers who serve as Governors of their countries within the framework of the AfDB.
Adesina went on the stress that the AfDB is in a unique position to help support the region at a time of unprecedented transformation as countries struggle to keep up with the pace of growth of their booming populations and growth of unemployment.
At the core of the Bank’s interventions is a ten-year strategy anchored in a set of objectives known as the High 5s – Light up and power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
When fully implemented, the High 5s will enable Africa to achieve 90 percent of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, according to a study conducted by the United Nations Development Programme.
During the consultations, the ministers from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania, said the High 5s reflect their own development vision and strategies.
Home to 14 percent of the continent’s population and the driver of one-third of its GDP, North Africa has the potential to serve as a growth engine for the continent. However, the region faces a staggering 31 percent unemployment rate among youth and women, food and water insecurity, poverty and inequality, as well as challenges of economic transformation and integration.
“We share the Bank’s vision. Africa is the continent of the future. This is a great Africa moment with the Bank at the centre. Unleashing the potential of African economies is a task which the Bank must accomplish,” said Zied Ladhari, Tunisia’s Development, Investment and International Cooperation Minister.
“The biggest challenge for Africa today is job creation. It is a stake of stability and a lever to pull economic growth upwards. We must offer job opportunities for young people to convince them to stay here on the continent,” added Abderahmane Raouia, Algeria’s Finance Minister.
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