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Africa needs innovation, says AfDB President

“Africa needs innovation,” said Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, at the G7 Summit in Italy this month.

Emphasising this as crucial for access to energy, the President noted that 645 million Africans do not have access to electricity.

“Africa cannot develop in the dark. Africa needs an energy revolution,” he said.

Africa needs innovation

Adesina said in his address: “That is why the Bank is investing $12 billion over the next five years in the energy sector as well as to leverage up to $50 billion, to address this challenge.

“We are investing in unlocking Africa’s renewable energy potential, especially innovations on solar power.”

He added: “Our goal is to connect 130 million households to grids and 75 million households to off-grid solar systems within ten years. To light up and power Africa is the biggest deal of the century.”

Focus on youth development

Highlighting the facts of youth mind-sets, the AfDB President said that like “insects migrate from where it is dark to where there is light,” the Continent’s “youth – our assets – take huge risks migrating to Europe, looking for a better life.”

With efforts to create greater economic opportunity for the youth of Africa, the AfDB has launched the Jobs for Youth in Africa initiative, with the goal of creating 25 million jobs within 10 years, with a focus on agriculture and ICT. Read more…

“We are investing in skills development in computer sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics to prepare the youths for the jobs of the future,” Adesina added.

Read Adesina’s full speech here.


Featured image: Shutterstock

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.