Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, the President of the Bank, recently revealed this while speaking on Africa’s Debt and Growth in an interview with CNN ahead of the launch of tADB’s African Economic Outlook 2021 launch today.
According to him, AfDB is looking beyond the current situation and focusing on medium and long term plan, because 1.4 billion people cannot be allowed to be running from pillar to post looking for vaccines.
He added that AfDB has now decided to support Africa to have quality healthcare infrastructure because the continent really deserves it.
His words, “For us at AfDB, we are looking beyond the current situation. We are looking at medium and also long term. I can’t accept that 1.4 billion people have to be running from pillar to post looking for vaccines.”
“We at AfDB have therefore decided that we are going to support Africa to have quality healthcare infrastructure and also make sure that it develops its own pharmaceutical capacity and also produce vaccines in Africa; not running from pillar to post.”
“You know so far 40.6 million vaccines have been delivered in Africa and people can’t even get a shot in the arm. That 40.6 million is only 1% of what we need; talk less of having 60% of herd immunity. So we are way off the mark on that.”
“If we deal with this pandemic in one part of the world and don’t deal with other parts, we are going back to square one. So, absolutely we must make sure that we ramp up access to vaccine. Africa needs it in quantity, it needs it on time and it needs it on an affordable price.”
“A lot of young people lost jobs, and so for us, its how do you build back, making sure you have economic resilience. Of course doing that with climate resilience; also make sure that we can secure the health of the populations with health resilience. Now the political dynamics of this is very important because when young people can’t find jobs, it can really worsen social, economic and political fragility of countries.”
“So everything comes back to making sure that we support Africa, the global community rallies round Africa to meet the fiscal deficit that it has. We were looking for $154 billion last year – that was all. Developed countries were spending over $9 trillion, the G20; but Africa couldn’t just get $154 billion. There needs to be a total change in that, to make sure that Africa gets the resources to expand its fiscal space; and in particular the issue of debt, because you can’t really run up the hill with a backpack that is full of sand.”
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