AfDB president confident of ‘very promising future for continent’


African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesinais upbeat about the economic future of the continent.

Speaking in Abidjan this week, he said the Bank’s recent flagship publication, the African Economic Outlook 2019, had noted that the recovery in commodity prices was driving domestic demand and infrastructure investment, while Africa’s real GDP had continued to improve in 2018 to 4.1%. The Bank expects growth of 4% this year and 4.1% in 2020.

Economic opportunities in Africa are generating considerable interest globally, in his view. “For example, the agreement in March 2018 establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create the largest free trade area in the world. The CFTA will provide an unprecedented framework with the capacity to increase trade by at least 100% in Africa.

"The African Development Bank is at the centre of the actions taken to ensure the success of the continental free trade area. We have invested over one billion dollars to support the financing of trade in Africa," Adesina said.

The bank, whose triple-A rating with stable outlook has been reconfirmed by the four major global rating agencies, has also invested $1 billion in Afreximbank, including $650 million in credit lines for trade finance and $350 million in insurance.

In its report on intra-African investment, the AfDB emphasised the significant increase in cross-border investments – $12 billion last year, up from $2 billion in 2010. Under the G20 Compact with Africa, the Bank has worked with the World Bank and the IMF to provide assistance to African countries, particularly to improve company regulations and the business environment.

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