Industrialization in Africa must not be a pipedream, says Adesina
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina closed the Bank’s 53rd Annual Meetings in Busan, Republic of Korea. He emphasized that the process of industrializing Africa must be a practical venture that can be achieved with good planning.
He observed that many key lessons emerged during the meetings and many agreements were reached, including one on preparing young Africans for the jobs of the future. He also emphasized the need to accelerate private-sector investment in Africa.
Adesina also emphasized the need to scale up Africa’s infrastructure investments for greater competitiveness. The Bank’s Board of Governors, he said, also stressed the need to invest in Africa’s young entrepreneurs so that they would count among the billionaires of the future.
“No nation has ever industrialized without a clear industrial policy. A budget is the most important thing every nation has. Korea industrialized thanks to skills and innovation. Africa cannot industrialize with what it does not have but must industrialize with what it does have. Industrialization in Africa must not be a pipedream.”
During the meetings, the Korean Government announced its readiness to invest in Africa’s science and technology sector to raise the continent’s capacity to industrialize. It pledged that it would send young Koreans to Africa and also make some of its technology companies available to assist in building a digital infrastructure in Africa. In addition, Korean Deputy Prime Minister Dong Yeon Kim announced a US $600-million co-financing facility for renewable energy in Africa, to be managed by the Bank.
Adesina expressed his appreciation for “the Government of South Korea’s announcement of the partnership on renewable energy in Africa.”
The Bank’s Board of Governors agreed during the Annual Meetings to launch consultations on a general capital increase to position the Bank to better address Africa’s growing financing need. The Board also expressed support for the Bank’s improved financial performance, for which it credited management, and urged the institution to continue scaling its activity in industrializing Africa.
Adesina said that the Korean experience with the process of industrialization made it clear the African countries were under-investing in infrastructure. He urged them to consider centralizing investments in their sovereign wealth and pension funds and using them to invest in infrastructure.