Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has called on Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Development Fund to offer more support to African economies in the midst of ongoing global economic challenges.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the AfDB’s three-day Annual General Meeting in Accra on Friday, Dr Bawumia said the AfDB has lived up to its billing of being at the forefront of the continent’s development, adding that the time has come for the bank to even do more, with African countries facing the effects of global economic challenges.
“The performance of the AfDB over the years has proved the ingenuity and vision of our forefathers. As it was envisioned at the beginning, the bank has evolved to become integral to the sustained and inclusive development of this continent. It is now a triple AAA-rated financial institution, winning global awards and delivering the needed support for its people,” Dr Bawumia said.
He added: “aside [from] immense socio-economic interventions, especially in infrastructure, agricultural modernisation, social protection and entrepreneurial development, the bank is at the forefront of seeking fairness for Africa in the global arena. These efforts have substantially improved inequality, vulnerability and fragility on the continent. Together with the millions of people across Africa, we say thank you for your continued belief in the African course and the African dream.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, having contributed so much in building the African economies, today the bank is challenged even more than ever to do more. Our economies are facing the fallouts from the Russia-Ukraine war, which are compounding the existing socio-economic vulnerabilities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Dr Bawumia noted that following the fallout from the external global factors, the continental average real growth rate is projected to decline from 6.2 per cent in 2021 to 4.1 per cent in 2022, and the short term economic consequences of this, in the form of rising inflation, subdued growth, increasing inequality, and greater macro-fiscal instability, is affecting the cost of living on the African continent.
He, therefore, urged the AfDB, and expressed optimism that the bank “will rise up to the occasion and help our economies scale over these hard times.”
The Vice-President, a former staff member of the AfDB, commended the Boards of Governors of the Bank, for their foresight in endorsing the broad framework of the bank’s Strategic Outlook: 2023 – 2032, for the next ten (10) years, to build a prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
“It would be critical that through this strategic plan, the AfDB will work closely with the AU Commission and other sub-regional institutions to urgently operationalize and grow the African Financial Stability Mechanism. This will enhance protection for our economies from future shocks and enable us to join the list of regions with such economic buffer arrangements.”
“It is my view that the successful implementation of this strategic plan will draw the continent closer to achieving the goals of the Agenda 2063 and build the Africa we want, amongst others.”
Dr Bawumia, on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the President of the Bank, and the Governors, for selecting Ghana to host the high-level annual meetings in Accra.