In a compelling address during the 40th anniversary celebration of Nigeria’s The Guardian newspaper, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, emphasized that Africa, endowed with $6.2 trillion worth of natural resources, abundant uncultivated arable land, and a dynamic youth population, must seize the opportunity to eliminate poverty and foster inclusive wealth.
Adesina urged African governments to prioritize good governance, transparency, accountability, and sound resource management policies. He stressed that with effective management, Africa can become a continent of inclusive and well-distributed wealth.
Highlighting the mismanagement of natural resources, Adesina compared Nigeria’s situation to oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, emphasizing the need for a shift in resource management paradigms.
Adesina lauded The Guardian for its journalistic excellence and role as a people’s watchdog, presenting him with a book in recognition of his contribution. Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, Chairman and Publisher of The Guardian, described Adesina as “one of Nigeria’s greatest exports to the world.”
The President outlined Africa’s potential to contribute globally, emphasizing strategic thinking and collaboration. He commended The Guardian for its role in shaping public discourse and promoting accountability.
Adesina also detailed the African Development Bank’s commitment to inclusive development, investing $8 billion in agriculture over seven years, improving food security for 250 million people. He highlighted the $1.5 billion emergency food production facility, supporting 20 million farmers in 36 countries.
The Bank’s $1.6 billion investment in 25 Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones and the launch of a $3 billion Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones with partners demonstrate the commitment to value addition and wealth creation.
As the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference approaches, Adesina affirmed the Bank’s dedication to climate justice, unveiling the $1 billion Africa Climate Risk Insurance Facility for Adaptation to scale up climate risk insurance for African countries.
In his closing remarks, Adesina expressed optimism about Africa’s future, underscoring the importance of policies, investments, infrastructure, logistics, and financing, driven by a skilled and dynamic workforce. The African Development Bank, under Adesina’s leadership, continues to champion Africa’s transformation and sustainable development.