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Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development

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By Mercy Kelani

African leaders are required to boost growth to achieve UN SDGs.

The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) announced that 53 African countries, including Nigeria, must irreversibly keep up with the seven percent growth rate for the next 40-50 years. This is to protect and increase the gross income rate and enhance an eradication of the level of Poverty. Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the Group president of the bank, announced this in a meeting during a discussion concerning the theme — “Key Actions to Achieving Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development in Africa”. This speech was given at the 2023 AfDB Annual Meetings, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

In his statement, he emphasized that it is important for all African leaders to build up growth for the benefit of the standard of living of their people. This is necessary for achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union agenda in 2023. Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina affirmed that there is feasibility in the achievement of this goal and objectives for the country. Although, he added that obstacles might impede its quick success.

31 out of 54 African countries suffered decline in 2022.

Statistically, he listed the data from the AfDB outlook report, revealing the decrease in the average gross domestic product growth from 4.8 percent to 3.8 in 2021 and 2022, respectively. In his analysis, 31 out of 54 African countries suffered a decline as they have lesser growth in 2022, in comparison to 2021. Regardless of this decline, it has been projected that there would be an increase in 2023 by 4 percent and 4.3 percent in 2024. Nevertheless, Dr. Adesina stressed that the fluctuation in growth which has caused the decline is recognized.

Dr. Adesina warned against the decline in some African states which happened after they had experienced massive growth rates. With this caution, he advised that all African states learn from these challenges that they are confronted with to ensure sustainable growth and prosperity. He further asserted that the African continent has suffered various difficulties — economic breakdown, growth stagnation, catastrophic growth, decline — and these should provide clarity to the work that is still undone to achieve UN SGDs.

Importation to be reduced by $10 billion to foster intra-Africa trade.

AfDB president listed challenges such as COVID-19, conflict and Climate Change to have caused the exposure of the continent’s health system to vulnerability and its growth pillars to fragility. He mentioned some causes of the decline to include debt, commodity exports and external Finance, International direct Investment and development assistant, and remittances. Not leaving out the credibility of African states, he recognized the ability and proficiency of the African continent which depicts expertise and distinctiveness.

Youths are considered as the future and greatest assets of Africa. Therefore, Dr. Adesina advised that there is a need to invest in them to build a better future for African countries. They require additional skills and opportunities to improve the continent. Commenting on Africa Continental Free Trade Area, he affirmed that it will bring immense development to African trade market through an increment of 52 percent. With this initiative, the level of importation will be reduced by $10 billion and trade within African states will increase to $7 billion.

Natural resources can generate returns and create job opportunities.

With much consideration and Productivity, he analyzed how exportation will increase by about $21 billion and $45 billion to boost the Economic Development of African states. Importantly, he implored all African states to be dexterous and resourceful in using their natural resources wisely and judiciously to generate capital income which will create employment for the unemployed, especially the youth. Additionally, he addressed the need for Good Governance to actualize the vision of African development to protect individual rights and establish a system of equality.


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