The new President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, said the bank would focus on tackling inequalities, ensuring adequate energy supplies and enhancing food security during his tenure.
“Five priorities will shape our work at the Bank under my Presidency as weadvance the implementation of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy: Light up andPower Africa. Feed Africa. Integrate Africa. Industrialize Africa.Improve quality of life for the people of Africa,” he said during his inaugural address at the AfDB Group Headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
“This is the mission to which I pledge to dedicate myself as President of the African Development Bank: expanding opportunities and unlocking potentials – potentials for countries, for women, for the youth, for the private sector, for the continent,” the former Nigerian minister added.Adesina said as they unlocked these potentials, they would unleash a new wave of growth and development shared by all.”While Africa’s economies are growing, inequality is increasing all overour continent,” he pointed out.He noted the energy challenges besetting the continent.”We must light up and power Africa. Energy is the engine that powerseconomies.
The more energy economies have, the more prosperous are theirpeoples,” Adesina said.He pointed out that Africa is blessed with limitless potential for solar,wind, hydropower and geothermal energy resources.”We must unlock Africa’s energy potential – both conventional and renewable.
“He pledged the bank’s commitment to eradicating poverty.”Africa must feed itself. It is inconceivable that a continent withabundant arable land, water, diverse agro-ecological richness and sunshineis a net food- importing region.”Adesina pledged the bank’s commitment to ending youth unemployment andmarginalisation.
“The youth are Africa’s biggest asset. We must invest in them to buildskills and encourage entrepreneurship while providing access to thefinancial resources necessary to unlock their creativity and unleash thepower of their business enterprises.”Elected in May, Adesina is the eighth president in the organization’shistory, and the first Nigerian to hold the post.