African Economic Outlook launch in India
The 52nd annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) took place from 22 to 26 May 2017 in the Indian cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. Held under the theme ”Transforming agriculture for wealth creation in Africa,” the events focused on “Feed Africa”, which is the second priority area of the Bank’s 10-year strategy known as the “High 5s.” The meetings welcomed relevant stakeholders and guests of honour from all over the African continent including many West African presidents including Patrice Talon of Benin and Macky Sall of Senegal, as well as Vice-President Duncan from Côte d’Ivoire. AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina reiterated the need for Africa to industrialise its agricultural sector in order to unlock wealth. “Our goal is clear: achieve food self-sufficiency for Africa in 10 years, eliminate malnutrition and hunger and move Africa to the top of agricultural value chains,” declared Adesina. In his keynote address, he highlighted the need to establish staple crop-processing and agro-industrial zones to attract private agribusiness to rural areas, create stronger demand for locally-produced agricultural products and reduce high post-harvest losses in the supply chains. The annual meetings also hosted the release of the flagship publication, the 16th edition of the African Economic Outlook, a joint publication of the AfDB, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Besides the statistics and the notes on the 54 African countries, this year the report addresses the special theme -- Entrepreneurship and Industrialisation in Africa -- highlighting the high, untapped potential for African entrepreneurship. “African economies cannot miss out on their next production transformation. Entrepreneurs should be lead actors in Africa’s journey into the fourth industrial revolution,” said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General. According to the Outlook, African governments need to integrate entrepreneurship more fully into their industrialisation strategies. The annual meetings brought together some 4 500 delegates representing multilateral finance institutions, development agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, civil society and the media.