AfDB: Africa Needs Enhanced Governance To Develop

web geneva; font-size: small;”>Speaking on Wednesday, at the 4th annual Africa Governance, Leadership and Management Convention in Mombasa, AfDB’s Regional Director for the East Africa Regional Resource Center (EARC), Gabriel Negatu called on African leaders to take up a synchronized value chain development approach that touches all aspects of inclusive growth in Africa through enhanced governance and leadership.

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Owing to the strong economic growth and resilience, Negatu says poverty has gone down significantly, “as the share of the African population living below the poverty line ($1.25 a day) has fallen from 51 per cent in 2005 to 39 per cent in 2012.”

“Of the 20 fastest-growing countries in the world in 2012, 13 were from Africa; out of a total of 54, the number of middle income countries in the continent, with annual per capita incomes above $1,000, is now 26,” Negatu said.

“These impressive resilience and growth achievements” over the last decade resulted from success in the areas of macroeconomic management and getting the basics right, said Negatu.

Those measures included a series of economic reforms that improved the Business Enabling Environment, as well as the international commodity prices boom that shifted the terms of trade in favour of the continent’s major export items.

Negatu further outlined how the Bank is striving to build shared prosperity in the continent, by promoting good governance and leadership.

“AfDB and its member countries have taken major strides to improve governance and leadership, necessary for shared prosperity,” he highlighted.

“Business climate in the continent continues to improve in most of the countries, the costs of starting a business have fallen by more than two-thirds, while delays for starting a business have been halved over the past seven years. Also, the private sector has increasingly become the main engine of growth, and foreign investment has increased fivefold since 2000,” he added.

Despite these achievements, Negatu pointed out that enormous challenges remain. He noted that the continent’s infrastructure deficit remains a major constraint to sustainable development, and access to affordable and reliable energy is still a dream to millions of African households and enterprises.

However, Negatu noted that there are also a number of opportunities for the continent to unlock and build upon its current growth achievements.

These include: the continued discovery of oil and other natural resources, coupled with a growing global demand for such resources; a rising middle class and consumerism that will propel domestic demand for goods and services; improved access to information and communications technology (ICT) that enhances innovation and availability of information; the continent’s increasing access to international capital and improved participation of the private sector as demonstrated by the increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the continent and the recent over subscriptions to Eurobonds issued by a number of African countries such as Rwanda, Ghana and Kenya.

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