The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, and the African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, have agreed that current developmental efforts must succeed in Africa or risk failing globally.
The duo emphasised the need for deeper collaboration between their institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more: AfDB encourages increased US investment in Africa
Guterres signalled his strong support for the African Development Bank’s flagship ‘Desert to Power’ initiative, which is expected to provide electricity to 250 million people. He also offered to convene a special global meeting on Lake Chad, in consultation with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
The “Desert to Power” programme, a $10 billion initiative to build a 10GW solar zone across the Sahel—the largest in the world, aims to develop and provide 10GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries."
According to Adesina: “Secretary General Guterres and I had a highly productive engagement and committed to enhancing strategic and operational partnerships between the UN and the African Development Bank. I am encouraged by the Secretary General’s generous support for the Bank’s development initiatives, which we are certain will bear fruit across the continent.”
The two heads of institutions met following Adesina’s trip to the United States for the World Bank’s annual Spring meetings held in Washington DC.
Adesina also briefed the Secretary General about ongoing discussions on the Bank’s General Capital Increase (GCI-7), designed to address Africa’s growing lending demands. The Secretary-General committed to advocating “for the mobilisation of adequate resources in order to further the Bank’s development goals".
Guterres and Adesina also discussed the Bank’s inaugural Africa Investment Forum, held last year in Johannesburg, South Africa, where projects worth $38.7 billion secured investment interest. The Secretary-General accepted Adesina’s invitation to participate in the 2019 edition of the event, to be held in November in South Africa.