Africa witnessed a decline in GDP growth of 2.1%, its lowest in twenty years. Africa’s GDP fell by $165 billion, over 30 million jobs were lost, and over 26 million people fell into extreme poverty due to the global pandemic.
The president of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adeshina stated this at the 25th African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, on the 6th of Feb, 2022.
“Africa needs $600 million to $1.3 billion to meet its goal of attaining 60% vaccine production by 2040”. “Investing in health is investing in national security”. He added.
He also stated the need to build Africa’s healthcare defense system, which is based on three measured priorities. These priorities include building Africa’s quality healthcare defense infrastructure; building Africa’s pharmaceutical industry and building Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.
In order to completely address the health status of the continent, Africa needs $600 million to $1.3 billion to be able to meet 60% of its vaccine production and about $484 billion to address the impacts of Covid-19 and ensure recovery.
Dr. Adeshina didn’t hesitate to acknowledge the impact of the African Development Bank Group in the lives of 335million people through the High5s.
For more than six years, AfDB has financed the continent’s power supply in Africa to help improve the quality of life of the people and bring about industrialization. The High5s has provided access to electricity to 21 million people and caused agricultural technology to flourish as a result, ensuring food security. It has also provided improved means of transportation and easy access to clean water and sanitation.
He also mentioned the Facility for African Food Security and Nutrition that was launched by the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the African Union Commission.
He said the facility will help to mobilize $1 billion, provide climate-resilient and nutrition-rich technologies for 40 million farmers, produce 100 million metric tons of food,
and feed 200 million people which will help to reduce food insecurity in Africa by 80%.
In addition to the impacts of the AfDB, the Technologies for
African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), has provided drought-tolerant technologies for 12 million farmers across Africa.
The Bank is supporting the creation of special agro-industrial processing zones in 18 countries to help drive the transformation of agriculture as a major source of wealth and jobs.
The Bank president stated Africa’s biggest challenge. He said that “Africa will need an energy mix that includes natural gas, to ensure the stability of its energy systems, power industries, and ensure competitiveness”.
As a result, the bank is working on a project that will support the transition from coal and heavy fuel oil into clean energy, called African Just Energy Transition Facility.
The aim of this project was outlined in his speech.