The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Wednesday disclosed that its 48 annual meeting, slated for next month in Marrakech, Morocco, would be held under the central theme – “Structural Transformation in Africa”.
In a statement, received here by PANA, AfDB highlighted that transforming Africa’s economies entailed diversifying and expanding the sources of economic growth and opportunity in a manner that promotes greater productivity for sustained and inclusive economic development.
“A major policy challenge for Africa today is how to broaden access to economic opportunities for its expanding population, including the most vulnerable groups,” the bank stated in its 2012 Annual Report, which would be presented to the institution’s governors at the Marrakech meeting.
“Africa requires structural transformation to propel it towards inclusive growth,” AfDB says, citing high unemployment and underemployment especially among young people and women, as one of the main problems facing the continent today.
The bank went on to stress that structural transformation would not materialize unless there was a concomitant investment in skills development in areas that have kept the continent behind other developing regions.
That Africa needs to harness its natural resources to build skills for its youthful population in order to leapfrog development and secure a place in the global value chain.
”Developing skills will unleash the dynamism of Africa’s untapped entrepreneurship potential, creating opportunities for increased job and wealth creation. An enlightened population is also important in Africa’s global engagement in trade and commerce,” AfDB noted.
“The key message is that Africa should accelerate its structural transformation by boosting the potential of its youthful population, investing in science and technology and innovation, speeding up its rate of economic integration, greening the economy and supporting private sector enterprise,” the bank added.