The 48th annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) opened Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, with a focus on the need for Africa to turn its economic growth into truly ”shared and sustainable economic transformation in the next half century”.
In a statement, the bank quoted its President, Donald Kaberuka, as saying that the quality of growth and the sustainability of growth were the two main issues confronting Africa today.
It said that the annual meetings are being held at a crucial time when Africa and the rest of the world need each other to push for greater development.
According to the AfDB, Africa’s challenges include a critical lack of infrastructure – transport, energy, water, telecommunications – which are the basis for all growth; a lack of regional economic integration between what are still fragmented national markets; and the pockets of serious fragility that still persist across the continent.
The AfDB President went on to state that the bank, Africa and their international friends were striving very hard to grapple with the challenges.
“We have the will, we have the systems, but we still don’t have all the funds,” he said.
Kaberuka also said that AfDB’s main financial challenges had to do with the need for the bank’s non-African members’ full support by making ”a big injection into the Africa Development Fund – Africa’s fund, for Africa’s future.”
”Second, we need our African members’ support in a new initiative which we believe is a visionary solution to bring about the vision of transformation, and a revolutionary response to failings in finding, facilitating and funding infrastructure projects,” the AfDB President added.
Meanwhile, the statement also revealed that the Marrakesh meeting would also discuss the AfDB Board of Governors’ decision on the bank’s return to its original headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.