The African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has met with Cabo Verde Prime Minister José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva on an official visit to the institution’s headquarters in Abidjan. The two discussed the economic situation of Cabo Verde and emphasized the need to strengthen the country’s emergence in the face of exogenous shocks such as the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adesina praised the Cabo Verde government for its “rapid and effective” response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which mitigated its shock. He particularly noted how the country had managed to re-open its economy as early as October 2021, in tandem with the vaccine roll-out. “It is important to note that by the end of June 2022, 85.2% of the population was fully vaccinated, in contrast with an African average of 16%. I congratulate you and your government for this remarkable effort,” Adesina said.
He went on to say that in 2020, the Bank had provided a lump-sum support package of € 24 million to Cabo Verde to help protect livelihoods and businesses, adding that Bank support for the government – whose budget spending grow by 1.6% of GDP in 2021 – enabled it to provide social protection and enhanced cash transfers to some 20,000 vulnerable households.
Adesina also praised the government for its work to enable post-Covid economic recovery. Growth in 2020 had fallen by 14.8% but bounced back to 7.1% in 2021 and is expected to reach 5.1% in 2022 before rising to 5.3% in 2023.
Dr Adesina listed the Bank’s investments in Cabo Verde to strengthen its emergence: financing the construction of Praia Airport, where the number of daily passengers rose from 400 to 1000; constructing power transmission lines; supporting digital development to make the country a technology hub; developing agricultural value chains, etc., and offered assurances that the Bank stood ready to support the country. “I know that many challenges remain: debt, the impact of climate change – an island country remains very exposed to climate change – and the Russian-Ukrainian war’s impact on food security.”
Prime Minister de Pina Correia e Silva expressed his admiration for the way in which the Bank helps African countries to address key development challenges and emerging issues. In particular, he welcomed the Bank’s support in the fight against Covid-19 and the Zika Virus, which have enabled the country to preserve its economy.