“Nobody eats GDP” according to African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina

African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina has called for an all inclusive growth of the economies of the countries in the continent.

African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina (NAN)

Unveiling the Bank’s flagship report, Akinwumi Adesina said “nobody eats GDP,” and therefore economic growth alone cannot meet the needs of the continent’s poorest citizens.

The 2020 African Economic Outlook (AEO) indicated that the economies of countries on the continent are growing well, higher than the global average. The report predicted a steady rise in growth in Africa from 3.4% in 2019 to 3.9% and 4.1% in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

The report added that the figures do not tell the whole story. The report argued that the poor in Africa not seeing enough of the benefits of robust growth. It added that very few African countries posted significant declines in extreme poverty and inequality, which remain higher than in other regions of the world.

According to the report, inclusive growth occurred in only 18 of 48 African countries with data.

According to Adesina “Growth must be visible. Growth must be equitable. Growth must be felt in the lives of people.”

The theme of the 2020 Africa Economic Outlook report, ‘Developing Africa’s workforce for the future,’ calls for swift action to address human capital development in African countries.

The Bank's flagship report added that education must see more investments to see progress and setting high priorities for the poor and disadvantaged and focusing on basic education first where social returns are highest. It recommended that access to education must be improved in remote areas, incentives such as free uniforms and textbooks, banning child labour and improving teaching standards.

“Africa is blessed with resources, but its future lies in its people…education is the great equaliser. Only by developing our workforce will we make a dent in poverty, close the income gap between rich and poor, and adopt new technologies to create jobs in knowledge-intensive sectors,” said Hanan Morsy, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Department at the Bank.

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