Akinwumi Adesina’s message to the Irish business community

“If you are not investing in Africa, you are not doing business,” Mr. Adesina told the audience. Ireland’s foreign direct investment in Africa at the end of 2020 was $572 million, just 0.05% of Ireland’s total net foreign direct investment. This is not enough. Ireland needs to invest much more in Africa. Let’s set ourselves the goal of increasing Irish investment in Africa to 15%. »

The enthusiasm publicly expressed by the Irish authorities for Irish-African cooperation reinforced the invitation of the president of Africa’s first development finance institution. Speaking at the Forum on Thursday 30 June, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister Simon Coveney spoke of strengthening Ireland’s economic and cultural ties with Africa. And to note that trade between Ireland and Africa is likely to reach 5 billion euros by 2025.

Welcoming the Head of the World Bank Group on Friday, Irish President Michael D. Higgins congratulated Mr. Adesina on the work done in connection with the recent establishment of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Fund. “There is nothing more important than this,” said the Irish head of state, who spoke of his longstanding interest in Africa and expressed optimism about its economic development. Speaking of the looming global food crisis as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Higgins praised the preventive measures taken by the Bank to ensure food security on the continent.

“President Higgins received me very warmly. “Africa is close to his heart and excites him,” Mr. Adesina said. He told me: “You are doing an outstanding job for Africa by leading the African Development Bank. Your vision inspires me.” »

Senior Irish officials whom Mr Adesina met during his visit expressed similar support for such close cooperation. Saw Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance and the Diaspora; John Hogan, Secretary General of the Department of Finance and Deputy Governor for Ireland in the African Development Bank Group; and Paul Ryan, Director of the Department’s International Finance and Climate Division, also responsible for managing Ireland’s equity investments in international financial institutions, among others.

Akinwumi Adesina thanked the Government of Ireland for joining the African Development Bank and therefore the African Development Fund, its preferential loan window. He thanked Ireland for its €2 million contribution to the African Development Bank for climate change adaptation, a statement made by Foreign and Defense Minister Coveney on 30 July.

In his speech on the same day, the President of the African Development Bank charmed the packed conference room by discussing the current economic situation in Africa, the challenges facing the continent, and the many opportunities, as well as the role of the “solution bank” transferred to the African Development Bank Group, the privileged partner for its regional member countries, its international development partners and the international business community. The business community he invited to invest: “You can count on the African Development Bank as a partner,” he stressed.

The Bank President also gave an interview at the Irish Institute of International and European Affairs to Ambassador David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations. “Mr. Adesina is often referred to as Africa’s chief optimist and is widely praised for his visionary leadership and passion for transforming Africa,” he said at the outset. Since taking office as President of the African Development Bank in 2015, the Bank has achieved the largest capital gains since its inception in 1964.”

In his opening remarks, Paul Ryan said: “In addition to being Africa’s top optimist, I would like to tell Mr Adesina that he is also Ireland’s closest friend to the African Development Bank and also on the African continent. He has been an outstanding partner for Ireland over the past two years, especially since we joined the Bank in February 2020. […] The Bank’s response – under the auspices of the President – to the Covid crisis and now to the war in Ukraine has been absolutely exemplary. Significant work has been done to prepare for the future in terms of food security, renewable energy and economic development, and this is fully in line with our development goals. We are very pleased to have joined the Bank, very pleased with the level of commitment and very satisfied with the work the Bank has done on the continent. »

And to add that Mr. Adesina — “first elected President of the Bank in 2015 and unanimously re-elected to a new five-year term in August 2020” — is a bold reformer who radically transformed the agricultural sector in Nigeria during his tenure. four years as Minister of Agriculture, a success he repeated at the African Development Bank. “We are very pleased with the president. Our colleagues from other regions are delighted. And, more importantly, all member countries of the African continent are delighted,” he said.

Mr. Adesina spoke about the work of the Bank, in particular its five strategic priorities adopted by the institution under its auspices, and how he sees them as the basis for both transforming Africa and achieving the goals of the United Nations in the field of sustainable development. Goals.

Akinwumi Adesina invited representatives of the private sector and operators to the Bank’s next Africa Investment Forum scheduled for November in Abidjan.