African Heads of State Welcome AfDB's Africa50 Initiative
31 January 2014
Meeting at the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) on the eve of the AU Summit, African Heads of State expressed their strong support and endorsement of the African Development Bank's new Africa50 initiative.
Speaking at the HSGOC meeting chaired by President Macky Sall of Senegal, AfDB's Finance Vice-President Charles Boamah said that this new vehicle aims at mobilizing private financing to accelerate the speed of infrastructure delivery in Africa, thereby creating a new platform for Africa's growth. Africa50 will focus on high-impact national and regional projects in the energy, transport, ICT and water sectors.
In so doing, it will also support the realization of some of the goals of Agenda 2063, the African Union's vision for the next 50 years.
Boamah, speaking on behalf of AfDB President Donald Kaberuka, called u pon African countries to demonstrate a strong ownership of Africa50, including urgently making their investments in the equity of Africa50. "Such ownership will no doubt strengthen the message about the commitment of African countries to address the continent's financial and non-financial infrastructure challenges," he said.
HSGOC Heads of State were of one voice with regard to the need, importance and urgency of massive investments in infrastructure.
They have in that regard boldly lauded the African Development Bank for its continued strong support for infrastructure development in Africa. They expressed the wish that the AfDB - Africa's bank - scale up its interventions, with a clear focus on delivery and more concrete results.
Earlier in the day, the AfDB signed a grant agreement with the African Union Commission, worth approximately US $9 million. The proceeds will help strengthen the capacity of African countries to plan, prepare and coordinate the implementation of regional infrastructure programs and projects necessary for enhancing Africa's physical and economic integration and socio-economic transformation with a focus on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
Celebrating this year its golden jubilee, the African Development Bank is participating in various AU Summit events with a view to raising awareness of its contribution to Africa's development over the past half century and its eagerness to support Africa's vision for the next 50 years.