“To integrate Africa, bring down the walls”. It was with this statement that Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, began the 2019 edition of the Organization’s Annual Meeting. Under the theme “Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity“, the event will take place in Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, until next Friday (14).
The African Development Bank Annual Meeting happens just when the Free Trade Area proposal on the continent reaches a minimum quorum to enter into force. “Apart and divided, Africa is weakened. Together and united, Africa will be unstoppable,” argued the president.
Equatorial Guinea’s president, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, also argued that development does not only mean raising per capita incomes of the population, but it is also necessary to ensure that everyone has decent opportunities. “Equatorial Guinea is open for business. We are committed to regional integration for shared prosperity,” he said.
During the week of the meeting, the Bank expects to receive more than two thousand people, including heads of state, ministers, investors, among other representatives from more than 50 countries.
The African Development Bank announced at the start of the meeting that it is launching a fund that will apply $ 100 million in grants and $ 300 million in debt to the bank’s ordinary capital resources by 2030. With the action, 320 million Africans can access digital financial services.
According to bank statistics, the number of Africans with bank accounts is still less than 50%. The action called the “African Digital Financial Inclusion Facility” (ADFI), aims to create an interoperable digital payment system that will allow consumers to send and receive money between digital wallets and from those wallets to other digital and bank accounts.
“With ADFI, we are convinced that our joint efforts can contribute efficiently to bring down the barriers that still undermine the full potential of digital finance in Africa. It will enhance the delivery of quality and responsible digital financial services to the underserved, a cornerstone to inclusive and sustainable financial systems,” said said Sébastien Minot, Agence Française de Développement’s Deputy Head for Africa, one of the investors.