“To integrate Africa, bring down the walls,” Adesina urges at 2019 African Development Bank Annual Meetings Open in Malabo

Content provided by APO Group. CNBC Africa provides content from APO Group as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. CNBC Africa is not responsible for the content provided by APO Group.
Download logo

African leaders on Wednesday underscored the urgent need to fast-track the continent’s regional integration process in order to accelerate Africa’s economic transformation.

The call was made at the opening ceremony of the Bank’s 2019 Annual Meetings, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, with the theme: “Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity.”

“Apart and divided, Africa is weakened. Together and united, Africa will be unstoppable,” the Bank’s President Akinwumi Adesina told delegates at the packed Sipopo Conference Center.

Adesina urged African governments to work toward the elimination of non-tariff barriers. “Pulling down non-tariff barriers alone, will spur trade by at least 53%, and potentially double trade,” he said.

The opening ceremony was presided over by the host nation’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Also in attendance were King Letsie III of Lesotho; President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, Prime Minister of eSwatini. High-level government officials from Rwanda, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Côte d’Ivoire were also present.

In his opening speech, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo recalled that Equatorial Guinea, once one of the poorest countries in the world, has since been radically transformed with one of the highest per capita incomes on the continent.

“For me, development is not about per capita income, it is about expanding the opportunities for the people to live a more dignified life,” Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said.

“Equatorial Guinea is open for business. We are committed to regional integration for shared prosperity. We count on the African Development Bank to help us achieve economic diversification and the consolidation of social equality.”

Regional integration is one of the Bank’s strategic High 5 agendas to rapidly advance Africa’s economic transformation.

In the past several years, the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) has invested over $13 billion in the central African region. “And for every dollar invested, the region has leveraged $36, an incredible rate of return of 36 times,” Adesina noted.

The Bank’s investments include the construction of the Central African fibre optic network that connects the population with faster and less expensive access to the Internet, and is boosting businesses and regional integration.

In his remarks, Equatorial Guinea’s Finance Minister Cesar Mba Abogo said: “Progress is the realisation of utopia. This is a country of utopia in Africa, with independence and the ability to control our own destiny. It seemed impossible at first in the last century but it was done. Now our utopia is regional integration.”

More than 2,000 participants are attending the Annual Meetings, a unique opportunity to share the Bank’s perspectives on the state of Africa’s economy. The meetings also provides updates on the Bank’s work and serves as a platform for the exchange of views on emerging issues shaping the future of the continent.

The Prime Minister of Equatorial Guinea, the president of the Senate, members of governments, the diplomatic corps as well as the African Development Bank’s Governors, Executive Directors, and other dignitaries attended the opening ceremony.

“There’s excitement in the air on Africa’s economic opportunities, and those opportunities are boundless. The newly ratified Africa Continental Free Trade Area will make Africa the largest free trade zone in the world, with a combined GDP of over $3.3 trillion,” Adesina said.  

For more information on the Annual Meetings, visit www.AfDB.org/am

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact: Nafissatou Diouf Communication and External Relations Department Email: [email protected]

Official hashtag: #AfDBAM2019

Related Content

Kenya, UK to resume talks on trade deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to start negotiations for a post-Brexit trade agreement between the two nations. Economic Analyst, Reginald Kadzuzu joins CNBC Africa for more.

Safaricom, Aviate Networks partner to roll out 5G to remote locations

A $70 million investment deal for cold storage; a partnership to see 5G rolled out to the most remote locations; and the beginning of construction for the Nairobi Railway City; these are the headlines making news in Kenya and CNBC Africa spoke to Journalist, Joseph Bonyo for more.

EU injects additional $17mn to tackle desert locusts ravaging East Africa

The European Union has released an additional 15 million euros to the fight against desert locusts in East Africa ahead of a potential new wave of swarms in the region. This comes after the EU granted 11 million euros back in February of this year for the same. The Food and Agriculture Organisation is one of the bodies set to receive the funds for this and CNBC Africa spoke to Cyril Ferrand, Senior Technical Officer and Team Leader for Eastern Africa Resilience for more.

How the naira devaluation impacts Nigerian businesses

With the recent 5.5 per cent devaluation in naira at the SMIS window, what currency risks are Nigerian businesses exposed to? Winston Osuchukwu, Co-Founder of Trans-Sahara Incorporated joins CNBC Africa for more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

South Africa to introduce universal income grant – minister

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa will introduce a universal basic income grant, the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu said on Monday,...

COVID-19 lock-down: Why the Black Business Council supports alcohol ban

The South Africa government has reinstated an alcohol ban and has made adjustments to travel restrictions under level 3 lock-down, in the hope of taking strain off from the healthcare sector and further reopening the economy. Joining CNBC Africa for more is the Black Business Council Treasurer General, Bonolo Ramokhele.

WHO warns of perpetual worsening of COVID-19 crisis

GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) - The new coronavirus pandemic raging around the globe will worsen if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions,...

Why Vestact is bullish on tech

Tech stocks have been hitting record highs in recent days, rallying by almost 16 per cent on the S&P 500 this year. Analysts have reported that the major tech companies will rally for as long as they can as investors are insulated from the worst of the Covid-19 market crisis. Byron Lotter, Portfolio Manager at Vestact joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

Tata International concludes a securitization transaction for its African Subsidiaries

UAE financial centers act as a gateway to benefit African businesses GCC, July 13th, 2020: Tata International Limited (TIL)...

Uber launches its largest region-wide initiative in partnership with Mastercard

Uber, in partnership with Mastercard to provide 120,000 free trips to frontline workers in MEA, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast...

Trending Now

Nigerian virus hunters in race against COVID-19 in Africa’s giant

LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) - Early one evening, Folasade Fadare and her team of four disease hunters piled into a van and headed for...

Nigeria presents new evidence in P&ID case

Nigeria has upped its move to overturn an arbitration award against it worth almost $10 billion in favour of Process & Industrial Developments. Nigeria’s lawyers told the online court it found new evidence of payments from companies related to P&ID to Vera Taiga, the daughter of the chief lawyer for Nigeria’s Petroleum Ministry at the time. Sam Chidoka, Managing Director and CEO of Kairos Capital joins CNBC Africa for more.

Lagos doctors embark on 3-day warning strike

The Medical Guild in Lagos in on a three day warning strike to call attention to the need for improved safety and welfare among other factors. Joining CNBC Africa for more is Dr. Oluwajimi Sodipo, Chairman, Lagos Medical Guild.

UK economy risks shrinking 14% this year, budget forecasters warn

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s economy could shrink by more than 14% this year and government borrowing risks approaching 400 billion pounds ($500...
- Advertisement -