AfDB annual meeting: Pushing for Africa's 'structural transformation'

African Development Bank meeting in 2011. Inclusive growth is one of the 'hot topics' at this year's AfDB annual meeting in Morocco. Photo by: / CC BY-NC

Green and sustainable growth, infrastructure development and regional integration for the overall goal of Africa’s “structural transformation.”

Those are the objectives, and now the African Development Bank’s leadership has to decide how to make them happen this week at the bank’s 46th Annual Meeting in Marrakech, Morroco.

Under the theme ”Africa’s Structural Transfromation,” more than 2,500 delegates  including finance ministers, central bank governors and CEOs from the institution’s 78 member countries  will discuss a wide range of issues, mainly on how to harness the potential of the continent’s economic boom to provide growth that is not only sustainable but also trickles down to the poor.

Thus inclusive growth will be one of the “hot topics” in Marrakech, where academics, government officials, researchers, development practitioners and AfDB experts will take part in forums and high-level open sessions on issues such as:

  • Financing infrastructure and accelerating regional integration

  • Global value chains: Africa, the factory floor of the world

  • Africa’s cities and sustainability

  • Demographic dividend or time bomb?

  • Africa’s natural resources: What is the agenda?

Regional integration is considered indispensable to build the economies of scale and international competitiveness that are crucial to the Africa’s structural transformation, as well as infrastructure development in a continent which suffers astronomical transportation costs due to its deficient road network.

In its 2013-2022 strategy approved last April, the African Development Bank sees the continent’s economies growing but with less of a carbon footprint and cuts across gender, age and geography. The plan for a more inclusive and greener Africa in the next decade requires investing in fragile states, spending on agriculture and breaking the wall of gender inequality.

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About the author

  • Carlos Santamaria

    Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.