In a renewed bid to tackle poverty and climate change, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and World Bank are exploring joint partnership initiatives that would see to the development of various sectors, including energy and agriculture, as well as deal with pandemics. This piece of information was revealed at a productive working meeting, between the Senior Vice President of AfDB Group, Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala and a delegation from the World Bank, led by its Managing Director for Operations, Ms. Anna Bjerde.
The meeting, which took place at the Bank Group’s headquarters in Abidjan, was built upon previous discussions between World Bank President, Ajay Banga and the President of the AfDB Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. The representatives of both institutions at the meeting also agreed to jointly identify key areas for intervention and collaboration to achieve transformative results in Africa. They would also be recognising the role of the private sector in mobilising capital resources. Ms. Tshabalala, who was accompanied by the AfDB’s Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade and other senior managers of the Bank, provided an update on its top priorities for the continent, known as the High 5s.
According to her, the meeting had helped to strengthen efforts already made to tackle poverty and climate change, build young people’s capacity for promoting small and medium-sized businesses, develop the energy, agricultural and other sectors, and deal with pandemics. The AfDB’s Senior Vice President also noted that the Bank Group’s partnerships with other institutions, such as the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the West African Development Bank and others, allow for better synergies. Ms. Bjerde lauded the Bank Group’s dedication to fostering synergies among development initiatives in Africa. She elaborated on how projects in key areas of focus, funded by the World Bank, could serve as the cornerstone for future partnerships. According to her, these included addressing recent crises and prioritising medium-term development goals such as poverty reduction, equitable growth, and tackling climate change.
“Our precedent is huge, which is why I also wanted to make sure, during my visit that, we spend some time together, and I look forward to seeing what we can do to bring real development ultimately to a higher level. I think we’re all being called upon to become better and bigger”, she added. The World Bank and AfDB have continued to gear up better economic activities for farmers especially, by providing production assets and by increasing support for agricultural livelihoods and investments in Africa through projects like Fadama, Argo Pocket, Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), youth agriculture scheme, the World Bank’s COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus programme (CARES), Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) and many more, to guard against food crisis in the African region.