All roads lead to Morocco this week as hundreds of delegates converge on Marrakech for the 2013 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), which kicks off today with a series of discussions on how to transform Africa's economy to sustainable inclusive green growth.
The 48th Annual Meetings of the Bank and 39th meetings of its soft loan affiliate, the African Development Fund (ADF), is focusing on "Africa's Structural Transformation."
The meeting comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the African Union, successor of the Organisation of African Unity under which African leaders created the AfDB in 1964. The overriding theme is that the time has come to change the way the continent does business in terms of political and economic governance.
Some 2,500 participants including heads of state, finance ministers, and central bank governors are attending the event. The meetings key agenda includes a bold new proposal of an Africa Infrastructure Fund and a Special Purpose Vehicle to raise money in the markets for high return infrastructure projects that will help Africa to unlock her potential.
Organized on the theme, "Africa's Structural Transformation," the gathering will review the Bank's 2012 operations and its 2013 development funding portfolio, as well as challenges facing key areas such as climate change, infrastructure, private sector and governance.
Delegates representing other multilateral finance institutions, development agencies, private sector chief executives, non-governmental and civil society organisations as the media are also attending the meetings. Key decisions about the Bank Group are made at these meetings.
This year's meetings present an opportunity for the Bank to publicise its new Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022); which focuses on sustainable inclusive green growth.
The Strategy identifies five main channels through which the Bank will deliver and improve the quality of growth in Africa, namely: infrastructure development, regional economic integration, private sector development, governance and accountability, skills and technology. These key topics will be discussed from May 27 to 31, during series conferences, high-level seminars and other side events on the continent's economic, social and political situations, and how they can be leveraged to accelerate the continent's transformation.
Morocco hosted the Annual Meetings in 1974, in Rabat.