President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has underscored the need for Africa to be dependent on its own financial resources for sustainable development.
According to the President, the continent must not rely on external development assistance for its development but find ways to expand the capital base of regional financial institutions like the Africa Development Fund (ADF), to make them significant in the scheme of things.
President Akufo-Addo said this when the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr Akinwunmi Adesina called on him at the Jubilee House, Accra on Wednesday.
Dr Adesina is on a day’s visit to Ghana ahead of the Bank’s 2022 Annual Meetings which would be held in Accra from May 23 to 27.
The meetings, which will be attended by several African leaders, will be held on the theme: “Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa.”
It will address climate change and energy transition challenges of the continent, as well as make a case for sustained replenishment of the ADF and for the fund to be allowed to use its equity to leverage more resources for the African continent.
President Akufo-Addo emphasized that the World Bank, which finances more activities in Africa, ought not to be at the forefront of the continent’s development.
“The statement that the World Bank gives more money, finances more activities than regional financial institutions like the ADF on the continent is not a comforting one.
“I think that we should be in the lead and the World Bank supports, but not the other way round…and that therefore requires that we all focus on how best we can to expand the capital base of the AfDB and the ADF to give them a greater significance in terms of being able to raise money on the global bond market so we can play the lead role in financing our development,” he said.
The President described as laudable, the idea of holding the conference outside the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, where the AfDB is based, saying it would give Ghana the necessary exposure.
He said having the annual meetings in Ghana and having significant African leaders attending would ensure that “a big case is made for the need to mobilize more resources for the ADF.”
Dr Adesina expressed his appreciation to the government of Ghana for accepting to host the Annual meetings and indicated the high level of confidence the bank had in the country.
The AfDB President said this year’s meetings, which will also mark the 50th anniversary of the African Development Fund, would be leveraged to advocate the continual renewal of the Fund that has so far provided financing of some 45 billion dollars to low-income states on the continent.
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo to urge his counterparts who will be attending the meeting to make a strong case for the Fund.
“Your personal advocacy on this and along that of other African leaders who would be present at the meetings would be absolutely critical,” he said.