9 May 2013
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African Development Bank (Abidjan)

African Continent Can Transform Within a Generation, Says Kaberuka

press release

Speaking at the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa on Thursday, May 9 in Cape Town, South Africa, African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka said "Africa has to find its own form of development that works for this continent."

During the session on "Building with BRICS" (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Kaberuka said there was a need to banish dependence on foreign aid and "basing our development on other people's taxation."

The panel also included South African President Jacob Zuma; the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; Chairman of India's Junida Steel and Power, Naveen Jindal; and the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, David Lipton.

The panelists discussed how collaboration with the BRICS could empower Africa to deliver on its promise.

Kaberuka said the AfDB had embarked on a ten-year strategy to launch a special initiative to mobilize resources in Africa for infrastructure. But he said that this won't happen if the African continent is balkanized.

Many countries including India and Brazil had gone through the experience of development and it was important to remember that they had been poor not so long ago, Kaberuka said, adding: "We can transition this continent within one generation." He said that ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, had seen its gross domestic product grow five times in the last couple of years.

Risk factors for development on the continent include different political imperatives, threats on the global economy and poor infrastructure. Kaberuka added that it was imperative to reduce the cost of doing business in Africa.

About 1,000 participants from 61 countries are attending the World Economic Forum on Africa being held over three days. The forum concludes on May 10.

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