On May 23-27, Ghana will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra.
The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has expressed delight in Ghana hosting the five-day meeting, which will bring together about 1000 delegates, including ministers for finance,governors of central banks, leaders of local and international finance and development organisations, captains of industry and civil society from all over the world.
Explaining why he is in high expectations of the meeting at a presser at the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Mr Ofori-Atta said the meeting is timely because the AfDB, with its aim of advancing Africa’s social and economic transformation and integration, will help Africa discuss how it can surmount the mired economic challenges brought to it by Covid-19 and the Russia and Ukraine war.
He noted that the economies of 41 African countries are severely exposed to rising food prices, rising energy prices and tightening financial conditions. He said that food prices are 34 percent higher than this time last year and have never been this high since the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation started recording them, while crude oil prices also increased by around 60 percent.
He also observed that gas and fertilizer prices have more than doubled while global inflation rose to a decade high of 6.0 percent in February causing many central banks to signal increases in interest rates and leading to higher debt servicing costs.
Mr Ofori-Atta believed that hosting the meeting in Ghana will inure to the benefit of not Ghana alone, but Africa in general, since there will be enough time to discuss issues bothering the economies of the continent.
He again said that surmounting the challenges require collective and coordinated action at the regional level and was hopeful that the meeting will help countries form the needed collaborations.
“This ‘toxic mix’ of challenges persists even as the Continent recovers from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread and scope of these challenges require collective and coordinated action at the regional level if Africa is to overcome them.”
Another reason Mr Ofori-Atta gave for his enthusiasm for the AGM was that since the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is headquartered in Ghana, the AGM will afford the country the opportunity to advance the cause of its economic integration in response to some of these challenges facing the continent.
He also indicated that the event will help Ghana convey its appreciation to the AfDB as a long-standing strategic partner.
He noted that through the partnership, Ghana has undertaken significant infrastructural development, including the construction of the only four-tier Interchange in West Africa, the Pokuase Interchange to ease traffic and improve productivity, construction of the Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport to enhance travel experiences and promote connectivity, construction of the Awoshie-Pokuase road, Fufulso-Sawla Road and parts of the Northern Corridor Roads to advance the exchange of goods and services and deepen economic integration.
Meanwhile, the following are the activities that will take place during the meeting;
(i)Formal Opening, where H.E President Nana Akufo-Addo will deliver the Key Note Address and Closing Ceremonies (which will be web streamed and Televised);
(ii)Presidential Dialogue on “Africa: Development Challenges and Opportunities” (to be web-streamed and Televised);
(iii)Four (4) statutory sitting of the Board of Governors (closed sessions); and
(iv)Four (4) Knowledge events (open sessions) on:
- Launch of the African Economic Outlook Report, 2022;
- Building Resilient Digital Economies for Africa;
- Africa Day Event (coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the passing of Dr Kwame Nkrumah); d. Climate Resilience and Africa’s food systems;
- Green Jobs for Youth and Women in Post-COVID Africa;
- A Seminar on Special Drawing Rights (SDRs); and
- A visit by the Spouses of the participating Governors to the Osu Children’s Home.