Returning Africa to its development path Annual Development Effectiveness Review 2022 Africa faces an extraordinary set of challenges. Following the devastating domino effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, economies must be rebuilt, and public services and long-term investment programmes restored. At the same time, African countries must also manage the accelerating impacts of climate change, prepare for future health emergencies, and deal with the prospects of a global food crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine. They face these challenges in the context of rising debt and sharply constrained public resources. Rebuilding and development require investment. If countries are unable to mobilise the resources they need, their prospects of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will recede. In short, Africa’s need for development finance has never been greater. The African Development Bank has a unique role as Africa’s development finance institution, and as a leading source of affordable finance for African countries. We have the privilege of being one of the most important investors in African infrastructure, with a strong track record of mobilising private investment. Our emergency operations played an essential role during the pandemic, enabling governments to implement public health measures and extend social protection to those in need. This year’s Annual Development Effectiveness Review shows that our rapid Covid response facility helped train 130 000 health workers, provided social protection to nearly 30 million vulnerable households, and extended financing and advisory support to 300 000 small and medium enterprises. We also pressed ahead with long-term investments in our strategic High 5 priorities, expanding access to electricity, improving transport connectivity, enhancing agricultural productivity, supporting industrialisation, integrating the continent, and substantially improving the lives of millions of Africans. Given the new challenges facing Africa, coupled with the need to build a quality healthcare defence system, and with just eight years left to achieve the sustainable development goals, we need more ambitious plans for mobilising resources for Africa’s development. Despite the challenging context, I remain optimistic about Africa’s return to recovery and growth. I call upon Africa’s partners around the world to join us in embracing a bolder vision for financing Africa’s development. Africa will not be defined by challenges, but by its ability to overcome challenges. Together, we will put Africa back on a sound trajectory for resilient growth and development.
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