AfDB fasttracks universal access to power by 2025

By Roseline Okere   |   30 September 2015   |   5:28 am  

Adesina

Adesina

Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. That is why the African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a New Deal for Energy in Africa, to fast track universal access to power by 2025: lighting up and powering Africa in 10 years, not 50 years, President of AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, has said.

Africa should push to achieve universal access to electricity while accelerating its transformation to a continent exporting finished goods, rather than raw materials, Adesina added.

Speaking at the occasion of the Japan-Africa RECs summit roundtable in new York at the weekend, Adesina said, growing the private sector will also be critical for Africa’s future development.

According to him, by boosting the private sector, Africa will drive industrialization and foster greater competitiveness of Africa in world markets.

In order for the giant in Africa to rise, he stressed the need to integrate the continent. That means more integrated infrastructure – in particular ports, rail, and transnational highways. We must connect Africa to itself and Africa to the rest of the world.

Adesina applauded Japan’s commitment to growth in Africa and the $32 million of support that the Japanese Government made available through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) V in 2014. Adesina also expressed his delight at the Prime Minister’s decision to double the amount of loans for the 54-nation continent under the Enhanced Private Assistance for Africa (EPSA) program, from $ 1 billion to $2 billion. “I am pleased to inform you, Mr. Prime Minister, that EPSA II is well on track, and that the $2 billion will be fully committed by the end of 2016.”

The support helps Adesina move forward with his bold, five-point agenda that addresses power, food security, industrialization, integration and quality of life across the continent. “TICAD has now finally come home to Africa where it belongs,” Adesina said. “The African Development Bank stands fully ready to work with you for the success of TICAD VI.”

In a private meeting with Bono, Adesina discussed ways in which the AfDB can partner with the musician-turned-venture-capitalist-and-philanthropist, to improve the lives of Africans across the continent. Because, as Adesina says, “development is about people”.

Earlier in the day, at a high-level session sponsored by the African Union, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and the Economic Commission for Africa, Adesina talked about the reciprocal relationship between employment and industrial advancement. “Africa’s young people should not be migrating, at great risk, to Europe,” Adesina said. “We need them in our industries, not on the high seas. This is why we have called for the establishment of an African Industrialization Financing Facility, to help turn our dreams into reality for Africa,” he said. “We can do this.”



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