The New Times (Kigali)

19 May 2014

Rwanda: What Africa Expects From the Kigali AfDB Annual Meetings

AS THE African Development Bank Group's 49th Annual Meetings 2014 open in Kigali today, Africa will be eagerly waiting for the interventions the Bank will come up with to help take the continent on its next development agenda for the coming 50 years.

The Kigali event, which also marks the Bank's 50 years in existence, aptly runs under the theme "The next 50 Years: The Africa we want".

It will be interesting to learn how the Bank plans to support the private sector to drive the continent's growth agenda, set up investments that will create jobs, especially for the youth and women; and how it will support interventions that will hasten job-creation in the short-to-medium term.

As delegates deliberate over the next five days, the continent expects them to come up with plans that will foster growth across the continent, as well as help reduce environmental degradation, resource wastage, corruption and fraud.

With the AfDB aiming to support key infrastructure projects on the continent, ventures that foster green growth, which is essential to attain sustainable development and create employment opportunities should not be ignored. This, together with alternative energy sources like solar and wind power, are important to ensure that rural Africa accesses reliable and affordable power to drive its industrialisation efforts.

Africa expects the Bank to actively invest in export-oriented ventures to help reduce the continent's perennial balance of payment challenges and dependence syndrome.

It is hoped that the AfDB Annual Meetings will come up with funding strategies that promote inclusiveness and gender equality, as well as ensure sustainable growth, private sector-led development and peace building initiatives to ensure that the Bank's 54 regional member countries achieve their socioeconomic development goals.

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