AfDB president highlights development success in Southern Africa

19 Aug 19

Great strides have been made in developing energy, infrastructure and trade routes in Southern Africa, the African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina has said.

This has been helped greatly by the African Development Bank’s $13bn investment in the region since 2012, Adesina told the 39th Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit over the weekend.

At the summit's opening ceremony at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, he shared his vision of the future. 

“I see a brighter future for the SADC region: regional railways that link the whole region, regional value chains that will drive competitiveness, special agro-industrial zones that will transform agriculture into a major business across the region, creating millions of jobs, and regional power pools that will finally solve the energy challenge in the region,” he told more than 1,000 delegates.

Projects the bank has assisted with in Southern Africa include $114m for the refurbishment of the Saint Louis power station in Mauritius, which now provides 36% of the population with electricity.

The AfDB has also invested $5bn in Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned energy company, which supplies all the country's energy and is integral to the economy.

The bank also supported the recently inaugurated Walvis Bay Port expansion in Namibia, with $300m funding from the bank helping to double cargo capacity from 300,000 to 750,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, providing better access to Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

It also aided the construction of the Kazungula Bridge, which will link Zambia and Botswana, and improve access to Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The bank’s $500m funding of the Nacala logistics corridor “holds the key for much of regional integration” in the SADC region and will expand regional trade by 25% and reduce transport cost by 15-25%, Adesina also said.

“For every dollar of paid-in capital by the region, it received about $19 in investments, an impressive 19:1 leverage ratio,” he told delegates.

For more investments in the region, see here.

Tanzanian president John Magufuli officially took over as chair of the 16-nation SADC from Namibian president Dr Hage Geingob at the summit.

“Our countries are not poor. We are very rich. We have all the resources needed for one to be rich. We have huge population, large number of wildlife, vast plant species, marine ecosystem, minerals and hydrocarbons,” Magufuli said in his acceptance speech.

The theme for this year's summit was ‘a conducive environment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, increased intra-trade and job creation’.

SADC’s 16 member states are Angola, Botswana, Union of Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

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