AfDB Invested $1bn In African SMEs And Infrastructure
The African Development Bank (AfDB), so far, has invested about $1 billion on small businesses and infrastructure in Africa.
This was disclosed by Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina – the president of the bank – on Monday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Dr. Akinwunmi said this at a press conference to herald the AfDB’s 2019 Annual Meetings. These meetings are expected to open on Tuesday, in the central African country.
The theme of this year’s meetings is ‘Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity’.
Adesina, providing answers to questions from journalists, said the bank has invested around $1 billion through various initiatives. However, these include cross border infrastructure, to move trade across African borders.
According to Adesina, most of the investments have gone to small and medium enterprises – the engine of economic growth.
Adesina said the bank is committed to accelerating Africa’s integration process.
In the last five years, the bank has invested more than $15 billion in the construction of regional infrastructure in energy, transport and ICT, he added.
Adesina said some of the projects include a $93.8 million loan for the long-awaited Trans-Gambia bridge, linking the Gambia and Senegal. Hence, resulting in a 50% cut in freight costs and improved transport, health and education services for 900,000 local people.
Furthermore, Adesina underscored the importance of regional integration in Africa.
“If we get our integration right, Africa will be more competitive. Hence, we will be able to create a massive amount of jobs. Therefore, Africa can develop in dignity and confidence,” Adesina said.
The annual meetings will be an opportunity for experts, governments, businesses, civil societies, think tanks, and academia to share their candid assessments on regional integration efforts and dialogue on critical issues concerning Africa’s development.
For more about African SMEs And infrastructure, visit www.smefinance.org