African Development Bank Accelerates Pace With 'High 5' Priorities

Photo: AfDB
As the African Development Bank (AfDB) steps up the pace on its Ten Year Strategy to help bring about the structural transformation of the continent, the Bank will focus on 5 high priority areas, which it refers to as "The High 5s".
27 June 2016
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African Development Bank (Abidjan)

The African Development Bank is stepping up the pace by focusing on five priorities that are crucial for accelerating Africa's economic transformation. The Bank calls them the "High 5s": Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

"To prosper, Africa needs a massive, concerted, ambitious effort to transform our economies," Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said. "We need growth that benefits everyone. The High 5 priorities will get us there more quickly."

The High 5s and the Bank's recent progress are highlighted in the Annual Development Effectiveness Review 2016 -- the latest edition of the Bank's key monitoring and tracking tool -- which was released Monday, June 27, 2016.

This year, the Bank has revamped the review to give greater attention to Africa's fundamental challenges and how the Bank is addressing them.

The Bank is also reorganising itself to become more agile and responsive to the continent's needs. A new business model has been adopted and three new vice presidencies established: on power, energy and green growth; on agriculture, human and social development; and on the private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation.

To increase its efficiency and carry out its work more quickly, the Bank is moving closer to its clients by establishing five regional integration and business delivery offices.

All these changes will help achieve the structural transformation outlined in the Bank's Ten Year Strategy. The High 5 priorities are an integral part of that effort:

Light up and power Africa -- About 635 million Africans still live without electricity and demand for energy is rising rapidly. Through the New Deal on Energy for Africa, the AfDB is working to unify efforts to achieve universal access to energy. Its new Energy Strategy aims to increase energy production and access, and improve affordability, reliability and energy efficiency.

Feed Africa -- More than 70% of Africans depend for their livelihoods on agriculture. If its full potential were unlocked, agriculture could vastly improve the lives of millions. The Bank is framing its agricultural operations within a business-oriented approach, based on a deeper understanding of the obstacles, potential and investment opportunities.

Industrialise Africa -- A persistent lack of industrialisation is holding back Africa's economies. Over the next 10 years, the Bank will invest US $3.5 billion per year through direct financing and leveraging to implement six flagship industrialisation programmes in areas where the AfDB can best leverage its experience, capabilities and finances.

Integrate Africa -- Through its Regional Integration Policy and Strategy, the Bank is focusing its integration efforts not just on movement of goods and services but also on mobility of people and investment.

Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa -- Africa's economic growth has not been rapid or inclusive enough to create enough jobs and improve quality of life. The Bank is committed to building up the availability of technical skills so that African economies can realise their full potential in high-technology sectors. Acknowledging the urgent need to address climate change, the Bank will nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach $5 billion a year by 2020.

The African Development Bank Group, based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, is Africa's premier financial institution. Its overarching objective is to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its 54 regional member countries, thus contributing to poverty reduction. It is jointly owned by its regional member countries and 27 non-African countries.

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