Akinwumi Adesina’s address to the Irish business community

(AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK) – Since joining the African Development Bank group as its 81d shareholder, in 2020 Ireland shows a growing interest in strengthening its economic ties with Africa. Last week during 7d African-Irish Economic Forum in Dublin where AfDB Group President Akinwumi Adezina called on the Irish business community to invest more in Africa.

If you are not investing in Africa, you are not in business, launched Mr. Adesina, before the aid. Ireland’s foreign direct investment in Africa was $572 million at the end of 2020, representing just 0.05% of Ireland’s total net foreign direct investment. It’s not enough. Ireland needs to invest much more in Africa. Let us aim to increase the share of Irish investment in Africa to 15%. »

The enthusiasm that the Irish authorities have publicly expressed for Irish-African cooperation has reinforced the invitation of the president of Africa’s first development finance institution. Speaking at the forum on Thursday 30 June, Foreign Secretary and Defense Secretary Simon Coveney spoke about strengthening Ireland’s economic and cultural links with Africa. And to note that trade between Ireland and Africa is likely to reach €5 billion by 2025.

Welcoming the head of the Bank Group on Friday, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, congratulated Mr. Adesina for the work done with the recent establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Fund. ” There is nothing more important than that said the Irish head of state, who spoke of his long-standing interest in Africa and expressed optimism about its economic development. Addressing the looming global food crisis as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Higgins praised the preventive measures taken by the Bank to ensure food security on the continent.

President Higgins gave me a very warm welcome. Africa is close to his heart and fascinates him, said Mr. Adesina. He told me: ” You are doing extraordinary work for Africa under your leadership at the African Development Bank. Your vision inspires me.” »

The same support for such close cooperation was expressed by high-ranking Irish officials whom Mr. Adesina met during the visit. So Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora; John Hogan, Secretary General of the Department of Finance and Deputy Governor for Ireland at the African Development Bank Group; and Paul Ryan, the Department’s director of international finance and climate, who is also responsible for managing Ireland’s investments in international financial institutions – among others.

Akinwumi Adesina thanked the Government of Ireland for joining the African Development Bank and thus the African Development Fund, its soft lending window. He expressed appreciation for Ireland’s contribution of €2 million to the African Development Bank for climate adaptation, announced by Foreign and Defense Secretary Coveney on 30 July.

In his speech on the same day, the president of the African Development Bank captivated the packed conference hall by discussing the current economic environment in Africa, the challenges facing the continent and the many opportunities, as well as the role of “a bank of solutionsdedicated to the African Development Bank Group, a privileged partner for its regional member countries, its international development partners and the international business community. The business community he invited to invest: “You can count on the African Development Bank as your partner“, he emphasized.

The President of the Bank also gave an interview at the Irish Institute of International and European Affairs with Ambassador David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN. “Mr. Adesina is often referred to as Africa’s foremost optimist and is widely praised for his visionary leadership and passion for Africa’s transformationhe presented from the beginning.Since taking over as President of the African Development Bank in 2015, the Bank has achieved its largest capital increase since its inception in 1964.. »

In his opening remarks, Paul Ryan said: “As well as being Africa’s foremost optimist, I want to say to Mr Adesina that he is also Ireland’s closest friend to the African Development Bank and on the African continent. He has been an outstanding partner in Ireland over the past two years, particularly since we joined the Bank in February 2020. […] The reaction of the Bank – under the auspices of the President – to the Covid-crisis, and now to the war in Ukraine, was absolutely revealing. Considerable work has been done to prepare for the future in terms of food security, renewable energy and economic development, and this is exactly in line with our development goals. We are very pleased to have joined the Bank, very pleased with the level of commitment and very pleased with the work the Bank is doing on the continent. »

And to add that Mr. Adesina – “first elected President of the Bank in 2015 and unanimously re-elected for the next five-year term in August 2020– a bold reformer who radically transformed Nigeria’s agricultural sector during his four years as Minister of Agriculture, a success he repeated at the African Development Bank. “We are very pleased with the president. Our non-regional colleagues are delighted. And more importantly, all the member countries of the African continent are delighted“, he testified.

Mr. Adesina spoke about the work of the Bank, particularly his “High 5” strategic priorities that the institution has adopted under his auspices, and how he sees them as the linchpin, both for the transformation of Africa and for the achievement of UN sustainable development. Purposes.

Akinwumi Adesina invited private sector representatives and operators to the Bank’s next African Investment Forum scheduled for November in Abidjan.

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