Friday, January 26,
2018 02.24PM / African Farming
The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has made a compelling case for accelerating Africa’s industrialisation in order to create jobs, reduce poverty and promote inclusive economic growth
Citing data from the Bank’s 2018 African Economic Outlook launched in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on January 17, Adesina said infrastructure projects were among the most profitable investments any society can make as they "significantly contribute to, propel, and sustain a country’s economic growth. Infrastructure, when well managed, provides the financial resources to do everything else."
Agriculture must be at the forefront of Africa’s industrialisation,” he said, adding that integrated power and adequate transport infrastructure would facilitate economic integration, support agricultural value chain development and economies of scale which drive industrialization.
Adesina reminded the audience of policy-makers and members of the diplomatic corps in Côte d’Ivoire that economic diversification via industrialisation with investment in human capital will enable the continent’s rapidly growing youth population to successfully transition to productive technology-based sectors.
He announced that the bank would organise the Africa Investment Forum on November 7-8, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, to mobilise funds for infrastructure development, to bridge an estimated funding gap of US$130-$170bn a year, up from previous estimates of US$100bn per year.
New infrastructure financing gap estimates and innovative ways through which African countries can raise funds for infrastructure development are among the highlights of the 2018 edition of the report, which was launched at the bank’s headquarters for the first time in the publication’s 15-year history.
The African Economic Outlook was first published in 2003 and launched mostly in various African capitals outside the Bank’s headquarters in May each year.
In his remarks, Célestin Monga, the bank’s chief economist and vice president for economic governance and knowledge management, said the African Economic Outlook has become the flagship report for the African Development Bank, providing data and reference material on Africa’s development that are of interest to researchers, investors, civil society organizations, development partners and the media.
This year’s edition focuses on macroeconomic development and structural changes in Africa, and outlines economic prospects for 2018.
Abebe Shimeles, acting director, macroeconomic policy, forecasting and research, said the bank will publish Regional Economic Outlooks for Africa’s five sub-regions. The self-contained, independent reports, to be released at the bank’s annual meetings in May 2018, will focus on priority areas of concern for each sub-region and provide analysis of the economic and social landscape, among other key issues.
The African Economic Outlook is produced annually by the African Development Bank. The full report is available in English, French and Portuguese at www.AfDB.org/aeo