12 October 2018
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African Development Bank (Abidjan)

Revisiting the 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank - Key Moments

World Bank President Kim Jim lauds reforms initiated by African Development Bank

As the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group begin in Bali Nusa Dua, Indonesia, we look back at one of the key moments of the 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank last May in Busan, Korea, where World Bank President Jim Yong Kim endorsed ongoing institutional reforms at the pan-African development institution under the leadership of President Akinwumi Adesina.

Addressing regional and non-regional governors of the African Development Bank in Busan, Korea, last May, the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim said he had carefully studied President Akinwumi Adesina's development agenda for Africa, including the transformative High 5 priority themes to -- Light up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.

According to Kim, "The good news for the African Development Bank is that Dr. Adesina has started (the institutional reforms process) early and put you on the path towards the kind of reforms that will be required for the capital increase. That I think, will make the institution much stronger."

Kim said a number of the institutional reforms currently being undertaken at the African Development Bank were similar to those that preceded the World Bank's own capital increase.

Speaking to African finance and economic ministers at the meeting in Busan, the World Bank President said, the status quo was not an option for Africa. "We know that there is an infrastructure crisis . To make any of these things work, to be able to tackle this crisis effectively, the world needs a stronger, more efficient, more effective and bigger African Development Bank. I believe this very strongly. The option of staying the same or standing still is no longer on the table."

"I want you to know that there is no way we are going to achieve what Africa deserves without a stronger African Development Bank... we pledge at the World Bank Group to do everything we can - now that we're through with our capital increase - to support all the things that you want for not only the African Development Bank but for the continent that deserves so much and deserves precisely what a bigger, better, more efficient, more effective African Development Bank can deliver," Kim remarked.

Adesina has been consistently bullish on the continent's capacity to resolve its issues and forge ahead with its own development.

"Africa must stop being a museum of poverty. Its people are determined to reverse this trend... the world must also begin to look at Africa through an investment lens rather than as a development case," Adesina told reporters on the sidelines of the Busan Annual Meetings.

Echoing Adesina's position, Kim urged African countries to tap into global financing available for climate resilient infrastructure and praised the African Development Bank's lead in this direction.

Flourishing services sectors on the continent including banking, telecommunications, construction and retail, continue to shape Africa's vibrant economic landscape. Sub-Sahara Africa's GDP growth doubled from 1.4 percent in 2016 to 2.8 percent in 2017, and is expected to be at 3.4 percent in 2018, according to the World Bank.

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