The President, African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says Africa needs $484bn over the next three years to tackle the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and boost economic recovery.
Adesina said this at the opening of the 35th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A copy of his speech was published on AfDB’s website
He first highlighted the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa.
“It has been a global economic cyclone. Africa witnessed a decline in GDP growth of 2.1 per cent in 2020, its lowest in 20 years. Africa’s GDP fell by $165bn. Over 30 million jobs were lost and over 26 million people fell into extreme poverty,” he said.
According to him, the continent needs up to $1.3bn to ensure 60 per cent vaccine production by 2040 and $484bn to support economic recovery.
Adesina said, “Africa needs $600m to $1.3bn to meet its goal of attaining 60 per cent vaccine production by 2040. Investing in health is investing in national security.
“The African Development Bank plans to invest $3bn to support pharmaceutical and vaccines manufacturing capacity for Africa.
“To address the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and support economic recovery, Africa will need some $484bn over the next three years. To eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, the continent will need $414 – $784bn per year. Africa will need $7-$15bn a year to deal with climate change. The continent will also need between $68 – $108bn per year to fix the infrastructure financing gap.”
Adesina also said that Africa needs to build a defence mechanism against external shocks, especially in healthcare and financial security.
He said, “Investing in health is investing in national security,” adding that “Africa cannot afford to outsource the healthcare security of its 1.4 billion citizens to the benevolence of others.”
He further outlined three strategic priorities for an African healthcare defence system, which include building quality healthcare infrastructure; developing the continent’s pharmaceutical industry; and increasing the capacity of vaccine manufacturing.