The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, said on Wednesday during a webinar organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), that an acceleration of the global effort in favor of health and economy was needed to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa.
President Adesina urged government officials and business leaders in the United States and Africa to forge new lasting partnerships that will survive the current epidemic. “Just one death is one death too many (…) Our collective humanity is threatened” by this pandemic, he warned during this CCA videoconference.
The Corporate Council on Africa is a leading association of American business people who promote business-to-business collaboration and investment between the United States and the African continent. Akinwumi Adesina called on participants to be the guardians of humanity, saying it is imperative to take into account underlying global inequalities and their effects, especially on poor countries.
He also urged the multilateral institutions to combine and intensify their efforts on the debt of Africa and to work with the rating agencies
At the end of March on the London Stock Exchange, the Bank raised an exceptional amount of three billion dollars to “Combat the Covid-19” through the largest social bond loan contracted in US dollars on the capital markets. The Bank has also established a $ 10 billion COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility to assist African governments and businesses.
The Bank’s response package includes $ 5.5 billion for African governments, $ 3.1 billion for countries under the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional window and $ 1.4 billion for the private sector.
Referring to health systems in Africa, President Adesina said that the continent must more than double its spending in this sector. He highlighted the shortage of pharmaceutical facilities and businesses on the continent and the opportunities for development and investment that they offer. “ he noted
Peter Sullivan, representative of Citi Bank, moderator of the webinar, noted that the impact of the pandemic was unprecedented on global health, society, the economy and finance. “The crisis has considerably affected the economic activities of many sectors, notably tourism, transport and goods,” he insisted.
While Covid-19 infection rates in Africa are relatively low compared to the rest of the world, there is a growing sense of urgency over the acute absence of health infrastructure on the continent. President Adesina has therefore called for urgent, new and resilient partnerships so as to leave no one behind.