Why Africa is key to global labour force supply – AfDB

Bisola David
Bisola David
FG, AfDB discuss Coastal, trans-sahara highway projects funding

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has stated that Africa is the key for supplying the global labour force.

He said this during the opening of the African Investment Forum organized by AfDB in Marrakech, Morocco with the theme: ‘Unlocking African Value Chains,’ said African economies witnessed real Gross Domestic Product growth of 3.8 percent in 2022, higher than the world average of 3.5 percent.

He noted that the world is becoming more African and that “In less than seven years from now, the size of the food and agriculture market in Africa will be worth one trillion dollars.” He however lamented that despite significant progress that has been recorded recently in agriculture, Africa still has 283 million people that go hungry each year.

He went on to say that Africa will be crucial to the global success of electric vehicles, adding that it is predicted that the value chain for these vehicles will grow from $7 trillion to $57 trillion by 2050.

He emphasized that Africa is therefore crucial to the future because it is the continent that has the greatest amount of green metals—platinum (70 percent), cobalt (52 percent), manganese (46 percent), bauxite (25 percent), and graphite (21 percent)—needed to produce electric vehicles.

Additionally, he said that last year, $3.6 billion in investment interests were obtained for the East Africa railway line, which connects Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Speaking on the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones, Adesina said that in order to facilitate the creation of SAPZs, the AfDB has financed $853 million and secured approximately $661 million from additional development partners.

The zones will boost productivity, scale economies, and the efficiency of food and agricultural value chains, according to his own words, “supporting the transformation of the agricultural sector.”

“Today, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms, Islamic Development Bank, Afreximbank, and the AfDB are proud to announce the founding partners of the Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones.

“Over the next five years, the Alliance hopes to mobilize at least $2 billion in funding and investment pledges from partners and members. If this funding target is met, an extra 15 to 20 SAPZ initiatives in different African nations will be implemented.

“Instead of African cows migrating on their hooves while the rest of the world exports processed beef, they will create new avenues for earning income through the processing of beef.” Africa can now use the infrastructure that the SAPZs provide to convert its vast agricultural fields into viable sources of income.

“The Islamic Development Bank, the European Union, the Arab Bank for Economic Development, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the Korean Export-Import Bank are some of our esteemed partners. We are also working with the African Union to support the Common Africa Agro-Parks program.”

He continued, “Together, we have raised $1.5 billion to support the creation of 25 SAPZs in 11 African nations.”

He then urged investors to invest in Africa and reap high returns. He said, “Put your money where the future is, the future is in Africa.”

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