The African Development Bank and its East and North African Governors have stressed the need for urgent measures to match the continent’s growing population and youth unemployment, which they likened to a “ticking time bomb.”

The meeting described the continent’s growing young population as a potential growth engine for the world.

“The good news is that the solution is within our reach and will require investments,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

At the end of a two-day consultation at the headquarters of the Bank in Abidjan, CÕte d’Ivoire, the Bank and the Governors discussed strategizes for closing Africa’s $170 billion infrastructure investment gap.

To bridge the investment gap, ensure inclusive growth, and create employment for the continent’s population, the meeting endorsed the African Development Bank-led African Investment Forum and described it as a timely opportunity to catalyze investments into projects and attract social impact financing to Africa.

Tanzania’s Minister for Finance and Planning, Isdor Mpango, called for closer involvement of the private sector in financing development on the continent.

“The African Development Bank is well positioned to advise and assist Governments and the private sector to come up with bankable projects,” Mpango said, calling for direct resources to provide budget support and investment opportunities.”

Through the African Investment Forum, scheduled for November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Bank and its partners intend to showcase bankable projects, attract financing, and provide platforms for investing across Africa. The forum will bring together the African Development Bank and other global multilateral financial institutions to de-risk investments at scale.

“A uniqueness of the African Investment Forum is that there will be no speeches. The only speeches will be transactions,” said President Adesina.

Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete said: “The African Development Bank has already discussed the concept of the African Investment Forum with us. The Rwandan Government takes this Forum very seriously.”

“Jobs will come from industrialization. The new approach using the African Investment Forum to de-risk the sector and attract investors is the way to go,” said Kiplagat Rotich, Kenyan Finance Minister.

13 per cent of the world’s population is estimated to live in sub-Saharan Africa today. That number is projected to more than double by 2050. Four billion (or 36 per cent of the world’s population) could live in the region by 2100, according to the UN Population Division. Africa is projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050 with the continent having the youngest population on earth.

According to Adesina, “We have 12 years left to the SDGs. It is an alarm bell because if Africa does not achieve the SDGs, the world won’t achieve them. The African Development Bank is accelerating development across Africa through the High 5s. We are deepening our reforms. We deepened our disbursements to the highest levels ever last year and we are leveraging more resources for Africa.”

Tunisia’s Finance Minister Zied Ladhari recalled how the Bank’s 11-year temporary relocation to his country helped strengthen the bonds between them. “We share the Bank’s vision. Africa is the continent of the future. This is a great Africa moment with the Bank at the centre. Unleashing the potential of African economies is a task which the Bank must accomplish.”

As part of the Bank’s High 5 agenda, 13 million African women have benefitted from new electricity connections and 23 million from improvements in agriculture. Also, 10 million African women have benefited from investee projects

An analysis of the African Development Bank’s impact from 2010-2017 indicates that 27 million Africans gained access to new electricity connections. 899,000 small businesses were provided with financial services. 35 million have benefitted from improved access to water and sanitation.

“With the Bank’s support, Somalia has evolved from a failed to a fragile state,” asserted Somalia’s Finance Minister, Abdirahman Beileh. “The African Development Bank has been with us throughout. Together we can reach the bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

Algeria’s Finance Minister, Abderahmane Raouia, said “The biggest challenge for Africa today is job creation. It is a stake of stability and a lever to pull economic growth upwards. We must offer job opportunities for young people to convince them to stay here on the continent.”

According to Simon Mizrahi, Director, Delivery, Performance Management and Results, the Bank needs to move from billions to trillions in its funding and leveraging effect.

Egypt’s Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Mohamed El-Hamzawi, who represented the Finance Minister, said the country has seen two revolutions in 2011 and 2014. He thanked the Bank for supporting the country’s macroeconomic stabilization, financial reforms, infrastructure, and energy projects, among others.

Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, Mohammed Boussaid, praised the Bank’s ambition for Africa, and underscored its support for energy, agriculture and infrastructure projects. He said “a capital increase today is not a choice, it is a necessity. Today, the leading export sector in Morocco no longer belongs to traditional sectors, such as phosphates, but to the automotive industry. This generates jobs and adds value for sustainable and robust growth.”

With a substantive capital increase, the African Development will be able to execute its robust pipeline of operations (15bn in 2018 alone), including infrastructure and regional integration projects. The prospects for 2018-2020 are bright, with 50.3 million people benefitting from improved access to transport compared to 14 million in 2017. Also, more than 35 million people are expected to benefit from new or improved electricity connections, in contrast to 4.4 million delivered in 2017.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Very true Zambia’s rural teen girls are especially vulnerable they’re giving birth at a fast clip. Who are these men doing it?

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    • Having served as a UN peacekeeper in Sierra Leone, DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Darfur and other places I can tell you there is one common factor to the cause of all those conflicts. Too many idle bodies. It doesn’t make sense to have such a high birth rate which results in too many youths for few opportunities and limited resources. No and the sad fact is the UN has been promoting this over population indirectly. We need to adopt China’s One Child Policy as a continent or at least in our case we can at least make it 2 child policy because this overpopulation will lead to war, death and destruction when you have jobless and angry youth running around with pangas and automatic weapons as happened in many African countries before.

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    • Africans have never taken life seriously. Our solution to problems has been to run away to other countries. We are yet to learn to stand-up and confront the giants that haunt us, giants such as ignorance, disease, poverty etc.

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    • Come on! African development whatever must shut up! I leave in Europe white population is diminishing because they don’t reproduce, those whites are living now live on all kinds of vitamins and medicines, why do you think Europe took in those refugues from Middle East? Reproduction is the way forward after all our people are dying of aids made by white people,

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    • @1.1202vision,
      I was that too. Too many idle bodies, or rather the resultant effect. Back in 1999 – 2003 as a Sales Engineer in Appropriate Technology for a South African Company dealing in affordable mechanised farming implements, I visited a Refugee camp in northern Zambia under the auspices UN to see how best to equip and empower refugees so that when they go back to their Country, they will land running in terms of food self-sustenance and Agribusiness.
      CHALLENGE:- As we drove in the camp, the SWARM OF KIDS that I saw, some running to welcome us as kids normally do, was jaw dropping. Up until then, I had underestimated one of the resultant effects of ‘idling adults’ without proper contraceptives, (LOL, nor TV in the evenings etc… to occupy them). The UN official I was with…

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    • Cont’d …. I was with explained it was a one of the growing challenges they faced in regions of conflict.

      SOLUTION:- Engaging adults in productive work, and proper contraceptives and birth control in general.

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    • Off course you can! , marry a 20 years old white girl who has been birth control since she was 12yrs and see what you will happen, you are going to have a baby with big head who can’t walk, that’s why white are scared and jealous of black people, black reproduce healthy babies despite having all odds against us… Whites don’t want us to reproduce,, waona ka!

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  2. “The African Development Bank and its East and North African Governors have stressed the need for urgent measures to match the continent’s growing population and youth unemployment, which they likened to a” “ticking time bomb.”

    The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) or Banque Africaine de Développement (BAD) is a multilateral development finance institution. The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund.

    About gathering ntelligence you can learn a lot from reading The world Factbook.

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    • Because of political appeasement African governments at independence started giving everything almost for free. And we’ve remained in that mode. …government will provide even baby napkins.

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    • Come on, Chinese strength lies in numbers,,, we just need to know how use your numbers positively… kwasila!!

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  3. Ignorance is probably Africa’s biggest challenge. We pretend that we know, when in actual fact, we don’t.

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  4. We just talk too much and are usually repetitive. This isn’t a new challenge, population boom was a hot topic in the 70s, hence the many family planning methods developed over time. The problem is we always expect somebody from somewhere to help us out. I wouldn’t be surprised if that meeting was donor sponsored. Population boom must be looked at as an opportunity, the more consumers the better prospects for business

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  5. Population is an investment. Depopulate Europe and Asia. Do not let them lie to you. World powers are afraid of a large population. It is harder to control, because there is strength in numbers. Wake up Africa kikiki.

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  6. Surprisingly, Rwanda under President Kagame whom the UPND and their cohorts have labelled as a dictator has done so well that she is being referred to as an example. Had Hichilema done what he did here in Rwanda, he could’ve faced the Kachacha long ago.

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  7. Driving in rural villages and staying in rural villages you soon see the results of population explosion – 1 family has up to 10 children – how will they ever be able to feed and educate them all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a disaster in the making !

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  8. I started hearing same warning 35 years ago….and here we are. nature takes care of itself….

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    • Here we are – yes here we are will millons of unemployed people ! here we are with millions of properly educated people as families with 10 children cannot afford to feed and educate all their kids……. Openyour eyes and see what is happeing !

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  9. “Be Fruitful and Multiply!” When a simple instruction like this is misinterpreted, what we get are the consequences we see! The instruction was not “Multiply and be Fruitful!” We have to be fruitful first, then you can multiply responsibly! Being fruitful is being productive and providing for all our needs – self-reliance! There is WORK EVERYWHERE but EVERYONE is looking for a JOB! The money is there in the soil but shocking we have eyes but can’t see. The argument is not that we should not multiply. The point is we are not fruitful enough to sustain our irresponsible multiplication! If only we can match our fruitfulness with our multiplication, we will have dominion over creation! We need a major mindset / Software reprogramming!

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  10. I take such statements with a pitch of salt..Africa has plently of land to accommodate its people and produce food why is everyone apart Africans talking about this..simple they want that land. This is why we should be wary of taking pointless vacines for Cholera and using Mosanto’s GMO seeds.

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    • I see it the same way. Africans need to stop believing everything that is suggested to them and start understanding issues from their own standpoint beyond the deceitful world of consumption and mass media. Is it not barely a century ago when millions of Africans were shipped from the continent into slavery and millions more executed in uprisings? The size of the African population did not matter then because the lust for power and material gain was greater – yet still unquenched to this day.

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  11. We must first and foremost tackle our endemic corruption and half baked political rulers in Africa who take decisions that affect millions of people .Most African nations have no social welfare programmes,dont even know their people exist and therefore have no system in place.Our population is not the major problem but the less than twenty percent of the population who enrich themselves at the expence of the others.

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  12. I like the positivity of this report. ‘If it is to be, it is up to us’ so goes the wise adage.
    The effort in sensitising, forecasting and forewarning vulnerable groups cannot be a bad thing.

    However, I have a problem with using self-defeating terminologies like ‘benefiting people’ instead of using a more motivating term like ‘empowering people’. This may sound trivial, but I have come to know it has a big impact in recipient’s psyche.
    By definition, ‘benefitting’ and ‘empowering’ obviously do not mean the same. Therefore, recipients of such aid psychologically respond according to the manner it is described. I submit that by and large, people who receive ‘benefits’ from you will expect you to ‘continue’ giving, whereas people you have ‘empowered’ will brace to take off.

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  13. My friends, every problem can also be seen as an opportunity. This high birth rate is both and it can be addressed by the same means, investing in education and training. Young ladies with an education have choices and are empowered to do something with their lives. And an exploding population is a huge human resource, which if harnessed with education and training can provide a better future for everyone. All this news means is that investment in education is what is needed, not your large scale prestige development projects.

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