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Friday, May 26, 2023

Africa Must Maintain 7% Growth Rate For 40 Years To Eradicate Poverty — AfDB

All 54 countries in Africa must maintain a consistent growth rate of 7% over the next 40 to 50 years to eradicate poverty and achieve high income levels.

This was contained in a speech by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, to African economic leaders at the AfDB Annual Meeting in Sharm El Sheif in 2023 on the theme Key Actions for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa A little Egyptian Sheikh.

African leaders clearly need faster growth to improve people’s living standards, he said.

Furthermore, he added, the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2023 African Union Agenda is of great importance.

Adesina said that while achieving this goal may be difficult, it is not impossible for the continent.

In the African Development Bank’s outlook report, he said the continent’s average GDP growth rate would fall from 4.8% in 2021 to 3.8% in 2022.

“And the decline is across the board. Thirty-one of Africa’s 54 countries will have lower growth rates in 2022 than in the previous year.

“However, we expect growth to increase to 4% in 2023 and further accelerate to 4.3% in 2024. However, we must be cognizant of the growth fluctuations that define our segment,” he said.

Adesina warned that some countries had regressed in challenging times after experiencing significant growth. Therefore, we must learn from it to ensure continued growth and prosperity.

Furthermore, he said: “We acknowledge that our continent has had difficulties, stagnant growth, recession and even catastrophic growth, and these statistics remind us of the work that still needs to be done.

“We face an increasingly complex and uncertain world. Health, financial, socioeconomic and environmental shocks threaten the progress we have made in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the AU Agenda 2063 and the top five priorities of all development goals progress.”

He added that some of the challenges facing the continent, such as COVID-19, conflict and climate change, have exposed the fragility of health systems and the fragility of Africa’s growth pillars.

“In particular, we are highly dependent on commodity exports and external financing, including debt, remittances, foreign direct investment and development assistance.

“As we acknowledge the challenges we face, we must recognize the incredible potential and opportunities that Africa holds,” he added.

According to him, this demographic change offers us the prospect of a demographic dividend, a large workforce that supports Africa’s quest to industrialize and reduce production costs.

Young people are Africa’s greatest asset and should be invested in, he said. We must give them the skills and opportunities they need to move the continent forward.

Regarding the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Adesina said it would be a game changer as it could increase trade by 52%.

“It will stimulate intra-African trade by up to $7 billion a year and reduce imports from outside the continent by $10 billion.

“Our industrial exports will increase by up to $45 billion and $21 billion respectively, figures that reflect bright prospects for trade and economic growth rates in African countries,” he said.

He urged the continent’s economies to take advantage of Africa’s unique natural resources, which can generate substantial returns, boost youth development and boost job creation.

Adesina said the studies are an important roadmap to guide Africa into a future in which every African country can achieve annual GDP growth rates of 7% to 10% over the next 40 years.

However, growth alone is not enough, he said, Africa must address good and prosperous governance, inequality and poverty on the continent.

Adesina said: “We have a responsibility to promote the formation of green prosperity, diversify sources of growth, and support the need to tackle climate change and support environmental sustainability in innovative ways.

“We must create an Africa that is economically strong, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable.

“Today’s event marks an important milestone in our journey, as research consortiums present their new findings to this valued audience.

“We eagerly await the final report, which will be shared by heads of state and government.”

As we move forward, our feedback and input will be important in helping Africa shape its unique development path, said the African Development Bank President.

“People who find the right balance among colonial, social and environmental aspects while respecting our diverse environments, institutions and aspirations

“Let us move forward together, united, and together we build the Africa we want. Let us usher in a new era of shared prosperity, and let us turn our continent into a beacon of hope, progress and opportunity for all Africa,” said Adesina explain.

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