Akinwumi Adesina, president of African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, says the bank will establish youth entrepreneurship investment banks to help Africa’s young population explore its potentials.
Delivering an inaugural address at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, Adesina said the youth banks would help to mobilise and deploy capital to encourage entrepreneurship.
He said this would be done “in ways that are systemic, scalable and sustainable”.
“The shadows of youth unemployment and migration out of Africa must give way to a glowing light of successful youth-driven businesses across Africa.
“Africa’s youths must stay in Africa, develop Africa, and project Africa’s future.”
Adesina said that the bank would build on the great successes it has had in agriculture.
He said this would be done by scaling up technologies to reach tens of millions of farmers and supporting Africa to build competitive agricultural value chains.
He said that the bank would add value to what was produced agriculturally in Africa and provide creative and high-tech opportunities for massive youth engagement in agriculture and agribusiness.
He said that special attention would be given to regional industrial value chains and the strengthening of financial markets.
The AfDB president said this was to expand intra-regional trade and competitiveness and boost the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s finance minister and chairman of the AfDB board of governors, commended Africa for the progress it had recorded in the achievement of the AfCFTA.
Ofori-Atta said a focused implementation of the AfCFTA would accelerate the implementation of the bank’s High 5 priorities, the AU Agenda 2063 and Africa’s recovery from the pandemic.
“The AfCFTA is a critical step in our collective vision for an Africa beyond aid. Ghana is humbled and privileged to host the AfCFTA,” he said.
Adesina, who was elected president of the bank in 2015, was unanimously elected for a second five-year tenure.
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