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Adesina Calls For Africa’s Stronger Role In Global Finance

AFRICAN Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Akinwumi Adesina emphasised the necessity for Africa to have a stronger presence in global financial discussions during the AfDB Annual Meetings in Nairobi. Addressing over 150 journalists, Adesina highlighted the shifting importance of the Global South and called for a restructuring of the global financial system.

‘The global financial architecture is not addressing Africa’s issues nor delivering for Africa. Our voice needs to be at the table. The global financial architecture needs to be creating fairness, equality, justice, representation, and inclusiveness,’ Adesina stated.


He praised the International Monetary Fund’s decision to create a third seat for Africa on its Board and South Africa’s inclusion in the G20 alongside the African Union. Adesina also advocated for a second G20 seat for Nigeria, underscoring the importance of collaboration.

‘Africa is coming of age on the strength of south-south cooperation, but I don’t see the world in a divisive manner. We should be looking at our ability to pool our energies and harness all our diversity for the good of the world,’ he added. ‘All our development banks cooperate, and now there isn’t a single project in Africa that we can’t finance – not one.’

Adesina expressed optimism about Africa’s future, highlighting the continent’s youthful demographic and agricultural potential.

‘I’m an African. We have the potential to be great as a continent. We have 477 million people under the age of 25. Africa will be the workshop of the world and is full of entrepreneurs and young people able to take opportunities,’ Adesina said.

He pointed to the AfDB’s investment in agriculture, citing the Bank’s success in Ethiopia with heat-tolerant wheat varieties.

‘If we can do that for Ethiopia, we can do it anywhere,’ he asserted.

Combatting climate change was a key theme at the Annual Meetings, particularly in light of extreme weather events affecting Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

‘We are meeting against the backdrop of floods that recently devastated parts of Kenya. My sympathies go out to the families of those who lost their lives,’ Adesina said.

He stressed that Africa will lead the global shift to renewable energy, with the AfDB aiming to connect 300 million Africans to electricity by 2030 in collaboration with the World Bank.

‘Electricity is the lifeblood of economic development,’ Adesina noted. ‘It enables digital infrastructure, rail and transport corridors like the Lobito Corridor between Angola, Zambia, and the DRC, and the Lagos to Abidjan highway.’

Adesina highlighted the AfDB’s ‘High 5’ objectives—powering Africa, feeding Africa, integrating Africa, industrializing Africa, and improving the quality of life for Africans—which have transformed 400 million lives since their introduction in 2016.

‘If we keep doing these High 5s, Africa will achieve 90 of its UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 90 percent of AU’s Agenda 63 goals. I’ll work to the last second to achieve this,’ he concluded.

The AfDB Annual Meetings, which began on May 27, concluded on May 31.

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