"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together," said Adesina.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) presented its New Deal on Energy for Africa, and launched a Transformative Partnership on Energy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 20, 2016.
The New Deal on Energy for Africa is a transformative partnership-driven effort with an aspirational goal of achieving universal access to energy in Africa by 2025. To drive and achieve this goal, the African Development Bank is working with governments, private sector, bilateral and multilateral energy sector initiatives to develop a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa - a platform for public-private partnerships for innovative financing in Africa's energy sector.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, was joined by global political and business leaders, who discussed the New Deal on Energy for Africa and the Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa and were invited to share their experiences on how, together, all partners can mobilize support to achieve universal access to electricity in Africa by 2025.
Inaugural statement was made by the "Champion" of the New Deal, Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Africa Progress Panel, who referred to the film presented by the African Development Bank on the subject, which emphasized the need to act quickly. Annan's statement opened a series of speeches delivered by Adesina; Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Alpha Condé, President of Guinea; Gayle Smith, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Tony Elumelu, Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist; Rachel Kyle, CEO of the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), Ashish Thakkar, Executive Chairman of Mara Sokoni; Marco Lambertini, Director-General of World Wildlife Fund International; Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA); and Bono, Irish singer-songwriter and philanthropist.
All political leaders were unanimous: the political will and unity between countries are important. Countries need to work together regionally. Business leaders announced their support to realize the New Deal on Energy for Africa.
In his address, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said, "The importance of energy in society was clearly underscored in 2015 with the inclusion of energy in the Sustainable Development Goals. Hence, lighting up and powering Africa is a key priority for the Bank".
"The 'New Deal on Energy for Africa' sets the ambitious target of universal access by 2025, which means bringing modern energy to 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, to cover for those who do not currently have access as well as the expected population growth. This implies a step change in the way that the Bank, African countries, development partners and the private sector approach the energy sector on the continent," he said.
"To succeed, we must work together. As the African proverb says: 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together'. Hence, the African Development Bank is working with governments, the private sector, bilateral and multilateral agencies - several of whom are represented here - to develop a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa. This will provide a platform for public private partnerships for innovative financing for Africa's energy sector," Adesina said.