President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Africa must forge stronger partnerships, and move boldly to tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said it was imperative that the continent abandoned half-hearted partnerships, and develop new approaches that support self-sustaining economic growth and development to recover from the scourge of the pandemic.
He was speaking on Wednesday at the opening of the African Development Bank group’s (AfDB) virtual 2021 Annual Meetings.
President Akufo-Addo noted that Africa could not afford to ignore the significant challenge facing it as a result of the pandemic, which had claimed some 130,000, pushed its economies into contraction and exposed its structural fragility.
He said the continent ought to seek new pathways to recover from the challenges of the COVID-19, saying, “In an unprecedented global event of this magnitude, we must engineer a response that will help accelerate our structural transformation.”
“Our will in seeing it through must be total,” he emphasized.
The three-day Annual Meetings is being held on the theme, “Building Resilient Economies in Post COVID-19 Africa.” The meetings will provide a platform for the Bank’s Board of Governors to share their countries’ experience in addressing the pandemic and the policy measures they are employing to rebuild economies and livelihoods.
Commending the AfDB for its coordinated response to address the economic fragilities arising from the pandemic, President Akufo-Addo urged that the bank be resourced “to position it as the catalyst for our economic advancement.”
He told the meeting that there was need to re-awaken bonds of solidarity between the Bank Group, African Union Organs and Institutions, and Regional Economic Communities, and demonstrate a united commitment towards rebuilding back better.
“With the right set of targeted investments from the AfDB, countries will accelerate their growth and job creation, and lay the foundations for a sustainable recovery and economic build-back. The AfDB has a distinct role that no other bilateral or multilateral development partner can match,
President Akufo-Addo was hopeful to see additional collaborations, partnerships, and the continued allocation of substantial resources “towards initiatives that accelerate our chances at building back boldly, better and greener.”
“I ask that we remain focused on promoting inclusive growth, especially in digitalisation, health, agriculture, industrial processing, and eliminating gender disparities.
Other participants in the meetings also said the Bank would be critical in the building of more resilient economies in the post-pandemic period.