African Development Bank makes more effort to accomplish continental free-trade area
The President of African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina is working tirelessly to accomplish a continental free-trade area, “as this is another important driver of development”, he said
“We need to break down all barriers that impede the free movement of people across the continent, especially that of workers because this is vital for promoting investment,” said Akinwumi Adesina.
Adesina stated this while referring to the Bank’s recent flagship publication, the African Economic Outlook 2019 which noted that the recovery in commodity prices is driving domestic demand and infrastructure investment, while real Africa’s GDP continued to improve in 2018 to 4.1%. The Bank expects growth of 4% this year and 4.1% in 2020.
“The AfDB is at the centre of the actions taken to ensure the success of the continental free-trade area,” said Adesina.
“We have invested over one billion dollars to support the financing of trade in Africa.”
Economic opportunities in Africa are generating considerable interest globally. For example, the agreement in March 2018 establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will create the largest free trade area in the world. The CFTA will provide an unprecedented framework with the capacity to increase trade by at least 100% in Africa.
The Bank, whose triple-A rating with stable outlook has been reconfirmed by the four major global rating agencies, has also invested $1 billion in Afreximbank, including $650 million in credit lines for trade finance and $350 million in insurance.
In its report on intra-African investment, the African Development Bank emphasized the significant increase cross-border investments – $12 billion last year, up from $2 billion in 2010. Under the G20 Compact with Africa, the Bank has worked with the World Bank and the IMF to provide assistance to African countries, particularly to improve company regulations and the business environment.
“Africa will not develop through aid, but through investment”, said Adesina. This is why the African Development Bank, with its partners, launched the highly successful Africa Investment Forum (AIF), in Johannesburg, South Africa last November, securing investment interest in 49 deals across Africa worth over $38 billion in just two days.
The African Development Bank continues to invest in infrastructure to connect countries and improve their competitiveness. It has provided $16 million to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the preparation of feasibility studies for the Lagos-Abidjan corridor. It has also funded 1000 kilometres of road between Addis Ababa and Mombasa, which has increased trade five fold between Ethiopia and Kenya.
-African Daily Voice.