Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has said the Africa Continental Free Trade Area was projected to make the continent the largest free trade zone in the world.
According to the World Economic Forum, an estimated $116 billion a year would be required to feed the world and end hunger. It would also take $8.5 billion a year to eliminate malaria.
“That’s only 0.28 per cent of what’s lost to corruption globally every year,” said Adesina.
“It would take $26 billion per year to send all kids in the world to school. The International Atomic Agency estimates that $31 billion per year would provide energy for all in the world. That’s just 1 per cent of what’s lost annually to corruption globally,” he added.
The African Development Bank’s 2019 African Economic Outlook notes that Africa’s impressive economic growth is expected to be maintained at 4 per cent in 2019, and 4.1 per cent in 2020, with 40 per cent of African countries projected to see even higher growth rates.
Pitching Africa investment opportunities to government and business leaders during his visit to Seoul, Adesina said, “There is no better time to invest in Africa than now.”
The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is projected to make Africa the largest free trade zone in the world, with an estimated combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over $3.3 trillion.
With an eye on a “future that is just around the corner,” Adesina said the bank was working to set up a joint Korea-Africa Tech Corps program designed to bring young and talented tech entrepreneurs in Korea and Africa into wealth creating partnerships, and position Africa to be part of the mainstream of the fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The Busan Techno Park, the Busan Metropolitan City, the African Development Bank and the Government of Tunisia, are currently collaborating on a pilot agricultural drone project to help assess and monitor soil degradation, and provide real time data to improve productivity.
The bank intended to scale up the project across Africa, and develop other cutting edge uses of industrial drones across the continent.
With a backdrop of an improving regional economy and a move toward creating a new generation of jobs for young Africans, Adesina emphasised that: “Today, millions of unemployed young Africans have no jobs and many take enormous risks to cross the Mediterranean to seek a brighter future in Europe.