The President of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called for fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for Africans, saying when combined with debt relief, African economies would recover faster and better from the pandemic.
Adesina said this while speaking at a virtual event held in his honour as the outgoing African of the Year of African Leadership Magazine (ALM), a statement issued by the bank on Wednesday said.
“To recover faster, Africa will need significant debt forgiveness from bilateral and official creditors,” he stated.
He said, “I am very positive that African economies will bounce back over the next two years, but the speed of recovery will depend on ensuring that Africa gets enough vaccines for its population. The world must not short-change Africa on access to vaccines.”
“While developed countries have been spending trillions of dollars for fiscal stimulus, Africa does not have such resources. The payment for vaccines is already adding to the already high debt burden.”
A highlight of the conversation was Adesina’s induction into the magazine’s African Leadership Hall of Fame for “Raising the performance bar” in Africa.
“Together, we will create new opportunities for African youth and trigger a youth-based wealth system for Africa. Together, we will ensure that we deliver financing for African women,” he said in his concluding remarks.
African Leadership Magazine Chairman Ken Giami said AfDB had scored some outstanding achievements in 2020 under President Adesina and had “infected” Africa with optimism.
“ALM feels very proud of the president’s contribution as he has raised the performance bar for future African of the Year winners. Indeed, his award was a call for greater service to the people, especially at a time when Africa needed true leadership.”