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Food, climate and a just energy transition: Round-up from the 2022 African Development Bank Annual Meetings

Solomon Quaynor, AfDB vice president for private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, Professor Kevin Urama, AfDB acting chief economist, and Omar Ben Yedder, MD of IC Publications, share their views on the AFDB’s Annual Meetings.

In this special round-up episode, we speak to three prominent attendees of the 2022 African Development Bank Annual Meetings. The theme, “Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa”, features throughout as our guests talk us through their hopes, fears and aspirations for development on the continent.

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana addresses the opening ceremony of the AfDB Annual Meetings in Accra on 24 May 2022.

Attracting more finance to Africa

Omar Ben Yedder, group publisher and managing director at IC Publications, kicks off with his take on the Annual Meetings. He relays the challenges of attracting more development finance to the continent amidst myriad economic and financial pressures, gives us his highlights from the African Banker Awards and reflects on the upbeat, defiant tone of this year’s meetings (listen to minutes 2:12-14:48 of the podcast).

Solomon Quaynor and Yacine Fal at the AfDB Annual Meeting in Accra.
Solomon Quaynor, vice President for private sector, infrastructure, and industrialisation and Yacine Fal, acting vice president, regional development, integration and business delivery, take part in a panel at the AFDB Annual Meetings in Accra. 

Closing Africa’s infrastructure gap

Solomon Quaynor, African Development Bank vice president for private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, highlights Africa’s huge infrastructure gap, laying out a strategic vision for a series of linked, transcontinental projects to help compress value chains and drive industrialisation.

He also speaks about the so-called “African risk premium“, claiming that the maturation of the continent’s financial architecture alongside the strong performance of existing investments may mean this premium is finally eroding (listen to minutes 14:48-41:02 of the podcast).

Professor Kevin Urama, AfDB acting chief economist (left) and Dr Kevin Kariuki, vice president for power, energy, climate and green growth, present the Bank’s African Economic Outlook for 2022 at the Annual Meetings in Accra.

Combating climate change and forging a new economic course for Africa

Professor Kevin Urama, the Bank’s acting chief economist, rounds out the episode with a wide-ranging overview of economic and environmental developments on the continent. He is frank about the existence of a “triangle of disaster”, but is positive that Africa’s financial institutions and mechanisms, as well as its robust productive base, make it more economically resilient than many suppose.

He speaks passionately and urgently about the threat of climate change, and outlines a framework for the decoupling of economic progress from environmental degradation. He concludes with a challenge – for Africa to chart its own economic course (listen to minutes 41:03-1:25:04 of the podcast).

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Credits

Host: Angus Chapman

Executive producer: Dr Desné Masie

Co-producer: Peter Doerrie

Researcher: Angus Chapman

Digital Editor: Charles Dietz

Design: Jason Venkatasamy

Music: Corporate Uplifting Chill by MusicLFiles

Licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/