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Business News of Monday, 21 June 2021


Insecurity shrinking Africa’s investment space – AfDB President tells ECOWAS Leaders

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group

President of the African Development Bank Group, (AfDBG) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, says insecurity on the African Continent and for that matter in the ECOWAS sub-region, is seriously affecting the investable space of the continent and as a result, urgent steps need to be taken to arrest the situation.

Addressing Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at their 59th ordinary session today the 19th of June 2021 at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, says the rapidly deteriorating security situation on the continent needs their immediate attention.

“Your Excellencies, when we resolve Africa’s debt challenges, I can rest if just only to, but one thing will still keep me awake at night, Africa’s rising insecurity. As you well know, the situation is most precarious in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. I am sure your Excellencies, it keeps you also awake at night. The trend is disturbing as expenditures on defence are rising fast” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said.

“The investable space in Africa is rapidly shrinking due to insecurity. Take the case of Mozambique, where the African Development Bank helped to structure a 24 billion US dollar deal for its liquified natural gas project. This transaction won the global deal project of the year 2020 award. This would have made Mozambique third largest producer of liquified natural gas in the world with projected revenues of 66 billion dollars. Insecurity would become a huge risk to our dream of an African Continental Free Trade Area” the AfDBG boss added.

Establishing Security Index Investment Bond

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in his address, Drew the attention of ECOWAS heads of State to the fact that in everything they do, they must link security to the efforts aimed at shoring up investment, growth, and development.

On the part of the AfDBG, Dr. Adesina, proposed the establishment of a security index investment bonds which would be managed by special purpose vehicles (SPVs), to take advantage of long term interest rates that would “allow Africa to leverage resources on the global capital markets to reinforce its security”.

“The revenue streams from the security index investment bonds can be used to first, reinforce the security architecture of African countries and support dual-purpose infrastructure to enhance national and regional peacekeeping and security capabilities. Secondly, build destroyed or damaged infrastructure in conflict-affected areas and finance new investment projects to re-launch economic activities and create jobs in areas prone to security challenges. Thirdly, build social infrastructure for the populations especially water, sanitation, schools, health, roads ICT, and agricultural infrastructure to improve access to basic services to support community livelihoods in fragile environments and fourthly, protect strategic investments within countries or regions” the AfDBG boss proposed.

“The security index investment bonds can be delivered through special purpose vehicles established on behalf of a pool of regional member countries. The bonds can be credited enhanced by the African Development Bank and other donors the administration of the bond. The administration of the bond can be managed under the auspices of the African Union’s peace and security council and regional economic communities which includes ECOWAS Commission. Then your Excellencies, we can sleep with our eyes closed to wake up the next morning ready again to walk work relentlessly for Africa’s assured destiny of prosperity” Dr. Adesina further stated.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Touching of Africa’s quest for COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate her peoples, Dr. Adesina noted that the Bank has made significant investments aimed at helping African countries to rebound their economies. However, the success of the rebound he says is now largely dependent on the continent’s access to COVID-19 vaccines and the bank plans to offer massive support to pharmaceutical industries on the continent to achieve same.

“Africa should not be begging for vaccines, Africa should be producing vaccines. The African Development Bank will ramp up support to Africa to produce vaccines as part of the vaccines plan of the African Union (AU). The bank will also commit 3 billion dollars to developing the pharmaceutical industry in Africa. Your execellencies, it now time to rapidly build a health care defence system for Africa to tackle this and further pandemics” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina posited.