African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina attended a special dinner event with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, September 25 in New York. Also in attendance were the Presidents of Tanzania, Liberia, Mali, Comoros, and the Prime Ministers of Ethiopia and São Tomé and Príncipe.
The discussions centered on how to improve information and communications technology for growth and development in Africa. The rapid growth in mobile phones and ICT opens up huge opportunities for mobile money transfers, financial inclusion, agricultural extension, market prices, transparent farm input distribution, addressing corruption, security, education, e-governance, e-health, enhanced political participation, empowerment of women, smart grids and improved payment systems.
President Adesina discussed the New Deal on Energy for Africa with Chancellor Merkel and the German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller, Germany's Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, and the African Presidents and Prime Ministers. It was agreed by all that solving Africa's energy challenge, and unlocking its energy potential, is critical for any growth in ICT in Africa.
The African Development Bank was applauded for its new vision to lead on solving Africa's energy challenge. Chancellor Merkel and all the African Presidents and Prime Ministers welcomed the New Deal on Energy initiative and the leadership of the Bank in working to develop the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa. In particular, President Adesina's call for the establishment of a Bottom of the Pyramid Energy Financing Facility for Africa, to help provide access to clean cooking renewable energy for 700 million Africans, was welcomed by Chancellor Merkel.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia noted that the new vision of the Bank on the New Deal on Energy is exactly what Africa needs to drive inclusive and green growth. Solving Africa's energy challenge is the single most important priority for Africa.
Benin's President, Thomas Boni Yayi, also applauded the Bank for its leadership recently, calling energy for Africa the "alpha and omega" for Africa's accelerated development.
Chancellor Merkel praised the Bank and noted that the Bank will be a critical partner in delivering greater development impacts for Africa.