Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 30, 2017 – The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, attended the official opening ceremony of the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, which kicked off Monday in Addis Ababa.
The meeting featured the announcement of the election of President Alpha Condé of Guinea as the new Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and the launch of the theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth”. Condé succeeds President Idriss Deby of Chad in the role.
The Heads of State and Government also announced the election of Chad’s Foreign Minister, Moussa Faki Mahamat, as incoming Chairperson of the African Union Commission, replacing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa.
The Assembly, which takes place on January 30-31, 2017, is deliberating on reports focusing on the state of peace and security on the continent, the African Peer Review Mechanism, climate change and the application by the Kingdom of Morocco to become the AU’s 55th Member State.
The AU Assembly was preceded, on January 29, 2017, by a retreat of AU Heads of State and Government, which was also attended by the African Development Bank President, where the leaders considered a report presented by Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, on institutional reforms of the AU aimed at enhancing the continental body’s governance systems. The report was commissioned at the last AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni, was appointed by President Kagame as one of the experts who assisted him with the project. Efforts to obtain more financial independence are required according to the Rwandan President.
On the sidelines of the African Union Summit, Principals of the African Union Commission, Economic Commission for Africa and the Africa Development Bank Joint Secretariat, Dlamini-Zuma, Abdalla Hamdok and Akinwumi A. Adesina, held their annual meeting at which they agreed on key strategic areas of cooperation to accelerate Africa’s development agenda within the framework of Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals embedded in Agenda 2030, and AfDB’s priority areas of intervention – the High 5s (Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa).
The heads of the three institutions emphasized the complementarity between the global and continental Agendas and the importance of ensuring their effective implementation in Africa through the High 5s, which would enable African countries to achieve concrete development results.
The AUC/ECA/AfDB leaders stressed the importance of joint planning among and pledged to continue to put their respective comparative advantages at the service of the continent.
“The African Development Bank stands fully ready to work with African leaders to achieve these development goals,” Adesina said.
The African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was also on the AfDB’s President’s agenda. The initiative was launched during COP21 in Paris, and has been developed from an African Union mandate and endorsed by African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change, in an effort to accelerate and scale up Africa’s huge renewable energy potential. The Bank is hosting the AREI’s Independent Delivery Unit and also act as AREI’s Trustee.
The African Development Bank President and his delegation have been scaling up the institution’s partnerships with African Heads of State, Governments, development partners and the private sector, among others, and putting the Bank’s finance and expertise at work to support the Africa’s development since their arrival, on January 28, 2017, at the Africa Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.