Friday, July 12, 2024

AfDB president says great opportunities abound in Africa

The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, says there is great potential and opportunity in Africa.

• June 14, 2024
Akinwunmi Adesina
AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina (Photo Credit: Twitter)

The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, says there is great potential and opportunity in Africa.

According to him, this is evident in its economic growth.

Mr Adesina said this in an interview with the BBC.

The AfDB President said Africa’s GDP growth rates had continued to outpace the global average, with projections showing positive trends.

He said, “Take a look at the African Economic Outlook we had from the African Development Bank. The GDP growth rate in 2023 was 3.1 per cent. This year, it’s 3.7 per cent, and in 2925, it’s going to be 4.3 per cent.

“Now, why is that important? It is well above the global average.”

The AfDB boss acknowledged the challenge of fast-rising populations but remained optimistic about Africa’s potential.

“You still have 10 out of the 20 fastest-growing economies in the world being in Africa. Africa still needs to grow a double-digit, though, for probably another 10, 20 years before we see a lot of millions of people taken out of poverty,” he added.

Regarding misconceptions about investing in Africa, Mr Adesina said, “Africa is not as risky as people say.”

According to him, Africa has the demographic advantage, with a projected population of 2.5 billion by 2050.

“And its vast agricultural potential, with 65 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land located on the continent. Perception is not reality. Data matters. Moody’s Analytics did a 14-year assessment of the cumulative risk of losses on infrastructure around the world.

“They found that the risk of loss in Africa was 1.6 per cent or 1.9 per cent, Latin America was roughly 12 per cent, and North America was 10 per cent. If you take a look at Western Asia, 4.5 per cent. So, that means that Africa is not as risky as people say. That said, you do have market risk, political risk, and financial risk.

“And that is what we do as multilateral development banks: de-risk those investments. But if you take a look at it in terms of risk-return analysis, Africa is still the place to be,’’ Mr Adesina explained.

The AfDB president restated the bank’s commitment to de-risking investments in Africa and ensuring sustainable growth.


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