Vaccines and debt relief critical to Africa’s recovery from COVID-19 – AfDB boss
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) says debt forgiveness for Africa is a key path to recovering from the pandemic.
The AfDB boss while speaking at a virtual event held in his honour by African Leadership Magazine, said Fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for Africans, as well as debt relief, would help to drive the African economies to the path of faster recovery from the pandemic.
According to him, “There is light at the end of the tunnel – it just happens to be a very long tunnel. I am very positive that African economies will bounce back over the next two years, but the speed of recovery will depend on ensuring that Africa gets enough vaccines for its population. The world must not short-change Africa on access to vaccines
“To recover faster, Africa will need significant debt forgiveness from bilateral and official creditors.
“While developed countries have been spending trillions of dollars for fiscal stimulus, Africa does not have such resources. The payment for vaccines is already adding to the already high debt burden.
“Together, we will create new opportunities for African youth and trigger a youth-based wealth system for Africa. Together, we will ensure that we deliver financing for African women.
“Together, we will support Africa to build world-class, quality healthcare infrastructure, while ensuring also that the continent builds its pharmaceutical and vaccine industrial production.”
In his remarks, Ken Giami, African Leadership Magazine Chairman said, “African Development Bank had scored some outstanding achievements in 2020 under President Adesina and had “infected” Africa with optimism”.
“ALM feels very proud of the President’s contribution as he has raised the performance bar for future African of the Year winners. Indeed, his award was a call for greater service to the people, especially at a time when Africa needed true leadership.”
The virtual event was attended by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri as well as Benoy Berry, Chairman of Contec Global Worldwide.
At the event, Dr. Adesina was inducted into the magazine’s African Leadership Hall of Fame for raising the performance bar in Africa.