To underscore the gradual and steady recovery of the global economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, African Development Bank and other leading global institutions have expressed commitment to support infrastructural development in Africa and finance the manufacturing of domestic vaccines that will curtail the spread of the deadly virus.
As various speakers expressed their commitment at the recent 56th Annual Meetings of the Bank which attracted global leaders and was held virtually, the President of African Development Bank, AkinwumiAdesina, told participants that AfDB would support countries in Africa to confront the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlighting the challenges that only 31% of healthcare services in Africa have electricity, while public health facilities with sanitation and basic water account for 51%, he said the Bank would support local vaccine production in Africa’s healthcare system in order to achieve African stability mechanism which could correlate with European contemporaries.
Adesina also made comments on AfCFTA, stating that since infrastructure such as roads, rails, and others play significant roles in trade, AfDB had committed $40 billion on the growth of infrastructure across Africa between 2016 and 2019.
According to Adesina, “You cannot trade if there is no infrastructure to trade; roads, rails, ports, highways. Those are the things the AfDB has been doing. We did not wait for the AfCFTA.
He continued, “In the next two years we expect to spend an additional $2 billion on AfCFTA related infrastructure to further deepen regional integration”.
Speaking along with the same tone, the Chairperson of AfDB, Kenneth Ofori-Atta, charged the meeting to champion the continent’s post-COVID-19 recovery in order to prevent Africa from experiencing a decade of economic stagnation.
In her remarks, the Managing Director of the IMF, Ms. KristalinaGeorgieva, said the international community is ready to support Africa economies.
Describing the difficulty of governments in the growing economy during the pandemic, such as increase spending with a drastic reduction in revenue, she said the COVID-19 pandemic still gives ample room for transformative reforms that will boost public services, give strength to governance, and enhances revenue generation.
It may be recalled that IMF Mission to Nigeria through its Team Head, Ms. Jesmin Rahman had said the Nigerian economy saw certain recovery from the effect of Covid-19 pandemic due to the monetary policies put in places such as the recovery of oil prices and vaccination program to end the spread of the pandemic.
Also, present at this year’s AFDB meeting are IMF Managing Director KristalinaGeorgieva, Director General of World Trade Organization, NgoziOkonjo-Iweala, and the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.