Annual Meetings offer platform for innovative ideas on global financial reform and provision of resources to develop Africa

Annual Meetings offer platform for innovative ideas on global financial reform and provision of resources to develop Africa

The African Development Bank’s 2024 Annual Meetings start on Monday in Nairobi, and offer a unique opportunity to collectively promote innovative ideas for reforming the global financial architecture. 

The shareholders of the Bank, Africa’s premier development finance institution, are encouraged to exchange views with a broad range of public and private sector leaders to reach a consensus on the reform needed to raise more finance to help transform the continent.  

“The reform of the global financial architecture must respond effectively to the increased budgetary costs that (African) countries are facing, so as to speed up their development,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the Bank Group, at a session on SDRs held at COP28 last December in Dubai. “To do this, we must also adapt the instruments of the global financial architecture, in particular the Special Drawing Rights.”  

William Samoei Ruto, President of Kenya, and Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, will welcome around 15 African heads of state and government, many ministers, and senior African and global financial executives to Nairobi.

At the Annual Meetings in Nairobi,“Africa’s Transformation, the African Development Bank Group, and the Reform of the Global Financial Architecture”, President Adesina and William Samoei Ruto, President of Kenya, the host country, will welcome at least 13 African heads of state and government: Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and current Chairman of the African Union, Paul Kagamé (President of Rwanda), Faure Gnassingbé (Togo), Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Mohamed Younes Al-Menfi (Libya), Joseph Boakai (Liberia), Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo), Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Abiy Ahmed (Prime Minister of Ethiopia), Félix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Samia Suluhu Hassan (Tanzania), Évariste Ndayishimiye (Burundi) and Filipe Nyusi (Mozambique). Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission, and Muhammad Al Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank, will also be in attendance. 

The conference highlight will undoubtedly be the launch of celebrations marking 60 years since the creation the African Development Bank in 1964 on the sidelines of the official opening ceremony scheduled for Wednesday morning at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi. The festivities will run until the next annual meetings in 2025 in Abidjan, providing an opportunity to assess six decades of progress and to reflect on how to tackle a growing number of complex challenges, in particular restructuring African countries’ debt and the adverse effects of climate change on the continent’s development. 

The Bank’s leaders arrive in Nairobi with a new 10-Year Strategy for 2024-2033. Aiming to seize opportunities to create a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and integrated continent, the strategy is likely to grab the attention of its shareholders, especially as it advocates for an acceleration of green and inclusive growth and promotes prosperous and resilient economies on the continent that include young people and women. 

Work has already begun at the 59th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group, with several parallel sessions on subjects of interest to Africa.

During the meetings, the Bank will also present its annual development report, which gives an account of its actions on the ground to promote economic and social advancement in Africa. It will also present its eagerly awaited flagship publication, the African Economic Outlook, a yardstick for political leaders, researchers and investors in the region. The AER describes the evolution and details of macroeconomic forecasts for the continent’s 54 countries and provides the keys to growth and highlights the obstacles facing the transformation of African economies. 

As international bodies actively debate how to reform the international financial system to better adapt it to an ever-changing world, and new emerging countries and new challenges arise (climate change, inflationary pressures, geopolitical tensions), Africa — become the world’s growth champion — is more than entitled to have its voice heard. According to the African Development Bank the continent will have 11 of the 20 fastest-growing economies on the planet and will remain the second fastest-growing region in absolute terms after Asia by 2024. Given the world’s current uncertainties, the Bank’s Governors should hail the resilience shown by African countries.  

The Bank plans to show its shareholders that it is a reformer and an innovator. Its successful launch in 2024 of its first hybrid capital notes on the global capital market made history amongst MDBs. The Bank also spearheaded the move, in tandem with the InterAmerican Development Bank, to channel Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) through MDBs. This request, approved by the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund on the eve of the Bank’s Annual Meetings, reinforces the Bank’s innovative nature. With a centenary slated for 2064, Bank shareholders are being called upon more than ever to provide resources and steer the institution towards ever more innovative decisions, capable of leading Africa towards a brighter future.