The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Dr. Carlos Lopes will officially welcome the new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Adesina Akinwumi, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, headquarters of both the AUC and the UNECA. Dr. Dlamini Zuma and Carlos Lopes told the new AfDB President when the three met in New York, USA, on 24 September 2015, in the margins of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Meeting for the first time since the new AfDB President assumed his functions on 1 September 2015, the three heads of Africa’s premier institutions took the opportunity to discuss energy, agriculture and migration as some of the strategic areas of focus that would help to overcome some of Africa’s current challenges, in order to leapfrog its transformation.
The AfDB President said the bank was going to increase its investment in the energy sector, and fast-track energy reforms. He called on other sectors to equally do the same. The scaling up focus and investment in energy, as well as the coordination was greatly appreciated.
“We will count on your wisdom on many issues, especially having an equitable distribution of wealth in society. Your experience in agriculture in Nigeria made a very big difference,” Dr. Dlamini Zuma said. She added that the issues of agriculture and energy are two issues critical for women, as well as to poverty alleviation.
Over the past 20 years, the three institutions have operated a joint secretariat to facilitate their strategic efforts aimed at strengthening continental development initiatives and efforts. They noted that these have been 20 years of accomplishments, but also of challenges.
The three were meeting for the first time since the new President took office on 1 September 2015. That was just before the AU Commission Chairperson and the ECA Executive Secretary had travelled to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on 28 August 2015, to officially bid farewell to Donald Kaberuka.
They agreed to produce great things, given that the three institutions were created to do big things. Hence, apart from energy and agriculture, these African institutions will step its collaborative effort to stem the times of African migrants leaving the continent in search of better economic and socio-political opportunities.