By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Development Bank President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has urged African leaders to push for the continent’s pension and sovereign wealth funds to contribute to domestic prosperity.
This call was made over the weekend at the launch of the first report on the implementation of Agenda 2063 ahead of the 33rd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa which provided an assessment of the progress and performance of Africa’s development between 2013 and 2019.
“Sovereign funds of Africa are invested elsewhere. We need to take a decision that sovereign wealth funds, pension funds need to be invested in Africa, not elsewhere.
“Africa also needs to do more to stop illicit capital flows.” Mr Adesina said
The bank President also called on heads of state to accelerate Agenda 2063, saying, “We have to make sure, in everything we do, that we bring about implementation faster.”
Unveiling the implementation report, President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, a notable voice for the Agenda 2063, noted that while remarkable progress had been made, the continent still had a long way to hit its development targets.
“In five years, we have come a long way in implementing Agenda 2063. To go further, Agenda 2063 must be the responsibility of all the member states of the AU,” said Mr Ouattara.
In January 2013, the African Union adopted Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want as a blueprint for sustainable development and economic growth on the continent.
According to the report, the first 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, which runs from 2014 to 2023, outlines a set of goals, priority areas and targets that the continent aims to achieve at national, regional and continental levels.
Referencing the African Development Bank’s critical role in spurring development across the continent, the Ivorian president said: “The Bank is in good hands under President Adesina. He is executing the mandate we gave him with brilliance and vigour – very exemplary.”
On her part, Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, noted: “The Ethiopian government is working with the African Development Bank and other development partners in the implementation of Agenda 2063, as enshrined in the country’s development plans.”
Mrs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former AU Chairperson and South Africa’s Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, called for the involvement of the Diaspora in economic development.
“They have the skills. Some of them may even have the resources to invest in our continent and even more passion than we have. Working with the AU and the African Development Bank, we need to galvanize the Diaspora,” she said.
“We can learn from what Ghana is doing with its recently launched Year of Return initiative. That is the beauty of Agenda 2063. We must learn from one another,” she added.
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