The Secretary-General of the African Development Bank Group, Professor Vincent Nmehielle, says participants at the upcoming 56th annual general meeting of the AfDB, will look at articulating policies and regulations, which will ensure that African economies become robust and better prepared, to deal with disruptive occurrences like COVID-19 in the future.
The remarks were made at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ghana and the African Development Bank Group, for the hosting of the annual meetings of the AfDB Group in Accra from the 24th to 28th May 2021.
The annual meetings of the African Development Bank Group which are held in member states on rotational basis bring together 81 countries comprising 54 regional and 27 non-regional member countries, to deliberate on issues affecting the continent and how to promote economic development.
The decision to have the next meeting hosted possibly in May 2021, in Ghana was arrived at during the Bank’s Virtual Annual meetings in Cote d’Ivoire, which ended on Thursday, 27, August 2020.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Secretary-General of the African Development Bank Group, Professor Vincent Nmehielle stated that even as preparations are underway, building a resilient Africa post-COVID will be high on the agenda of stakeholders at next year’s meeting.
“COVID has really provided Africa the catalyst to think about the number of its policies from economic to health. And of course, we have also seen that because of COVID we can hardly distinguish between health and the economy anymore. Our social protection systems for example are inadequate when compared to the systems in other countries. This is evident in instances when lockdowns are implemented. So the bank is going to use this period to engage with member countries on a number of things on how to set up our economies to deal with situations like COVID in the future.”
On his part Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta expressed government’s utmost commitment to a successful hosting of the AGM in Accra, and stressed the need to use the meetings to call for a restructuring of the global financial architecture which has currently left the continent debt-ridden.
“I would like to express great appreciation to the Bank for entrusting the hosting of the 56th Annual Meetings of AfDB and 47th Annual Meetings of ADF from 24th to 28th May 2021 in Accra. We reiterate our joy in this honour to host the event. We promise to champion African excellence and deliver a befitting event. It is important that Africa leverages the forum to speak loud and clear on the current unfair structure of the global financial system, which is not fit for purpose for the future.”
The AfDB Group’s Annual Meetings are the most important annual statutory event, at which the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the African Development Fund meet and review Bank Group activities over the previous year.
3,500 participants are usually drawn to the meetings, including finance ministers, governors of central banks, policy makers, civil society groups, heads of international organisations and business leaders from the Bank Group’s member states. Ghana has been a member of the Bank Group since its inception in 1963.