By Jimoh Babatunde
The President of African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said Africa’s economic growth this year will decline by 3.4%, because of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While noting that these are tough times for bankers, Adesina said times like this need audacious leadership.
He spoke on Saturday at the 2020 Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Fellowship Investiture.
Akinwumi Adesina, who was inducted Honorary Fellow of CIBN alongside others, said: “Leadership from each one of us is needed in these challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic.
“So many lives have been lost. Economies have been devastated. Africa’s economic growth this year will decline by 3.4%.
“Globally, economies have gone into recession, as global trade, financial flows, investments, tourism and global supply chains have been disrupted.
“Millions of jobs have been lost. Consumer demand and business investments have declined. With huge fiscal stimulus packages, interest rates are at all-time lows.
“These are tough times for bankers,” he added, noting that boldness and resilience are needed to weather the storm.
“Times like this need audacious leadership.
“Leadership that is able to navigate complexities and restore hope and confidence, to grow back, safer, healthier and with greater resilience.
“That is the kind of leadership I see among the Honorary Fellows and awardees and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.”
He said for Nigeria to be at its best, it deserves the best from all of us.
“Now, let us arise and collectively support Nigeria to recover and build back, stronger, better, with greater economic resilience. Let’s join hands and deliver greater prosperity and hope for Nigeria.”
He added that AfDB, was ready to strongly support African countries, financial institutions and the private sector to accelerate Africa’s economic growth.
“The African Development Bank launched a $10 billion crisis response facility to provide immediate liquidity for countries to meet urgent financing needs.
“The Bank also launched a $3 billion fight COVID-19 social bond on global capital markets, the largest US dollar-denominated social bond ever in world history, which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg stock exchange and on Nasdaq.
While expressing joy that AfDB had maintained its stellar triple-A ratings for five years in a row since he was first elected President in 2015, he said the Bank also achieved an increase in its capital from $93 billion to $208 billion, the largest ever capital increase in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964.
“The African Development Bank, therefore, stands ready to strongly support African countries, financial institutions and the private sector to accelerate Africa’s economic growth.
“Times like this need audacious leadership.”