Governors representing the African Development Bank (AfDB) West Africa region yesterday said the lender has invested in 370 projects worth $11.3 billion between 2010 and 2017. The bank said the projects are changing lives and making a difference.
They spoke at the consultative meetings with the institution’s President and senior management in Abidjan, where they took stock of the bank’s accelerated engagement in the region.
These are the second annual consultative meetings, aimed at sharing views with the governors, after the first ever meetings in the history of the bank were initiated by President Akinwumi Adesina in 2018.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the Governors are much closer to the bank, and that you are integrally involved in the wider vision and direction, particularly as it pertains to the challenges and needs of your respective regions,” Adesina said in his opening remarks.
“Today, I am filled with hope. Hope because Africa is changing. Hope because across the continent, despite challenges, you can see a rising determination to turn things around,” he further noted.
During the consultations, the Ministers urged for greater focus on women to close the gender gap, address climate change, and increase attention to development in fragile states.
Calling the Bank, the economic arm of the African Union, governors also highlighted the need for it to be involved in global issues in order to influence and help shape the conversations around foreign investments. Governors also focused on institutional capacity building, nutrition, data collection as well as regional integration and digital connectivity.
Sierra Leone Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa, highlighted the need “to mobilise domestic funds and use our pension funds more efficiently.” These comments were echoed by Nigeria’s Finance Minister Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.