By Heinrich Mihe Gaomab II
THE 53rd annual meeting of the African Development Bank was held between 21 – 25 May in Busan, Korea, in an atmosphere of marked all-round satisfaction as the African nation member states define their collective position on industrialisation for the future of the continent emphasing regional value chains on agriculture and industrial transformation with renewed focus on integration within Africa and with the rest of the world.
The meeting concluded especially on the decision of the need for Board of Governors to authorize the opening of consultations with a view to a general increase in the bank’s capital with a vigour to make the bank owned as the “Africa’s Bank” with the requisite important support from the non – regional shareholding.
From the side of Namibia, the meeting was led by the Honorable Deputy Minister of Finance Natangwe Iithete who emphasized that this meeting is about an African Development Bank meeting, and gave reasons why it is being held in South Korea.
At the bank’s Governors meeting Held in India last year, South Korea emerged as host and a decision was taken that this year annual meeting of AfDB will be held in South Korea.
The last meeting was held in India and the next one will be in Equitorial Guinea, an African country with the richest GDP per capital.
The interest of which countries to host the annual meetings is decided by a country interest submission to the Bank. “We are hopeful that in the near future a Southern African country such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe or even Namibia, will be able to host the annual meetings,” he stressed. The deputy minister was accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and was graced by the singular honour by the Executive Secretary of SACU, Madam Paulina Elago and her delegation at the African Development Bank Meetings been held in Busan, South Korea.
The meeting also held a ministerial roundtable cementing the Korea Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) where financing for projects of mutual interest was agreed upon.
It should be clear from the onset the AfDB is governed by its Governors and that in line with its statutory obligation the President and the Board of the Executive Directors are duty bound like any corporate company to report its financial and operational standing at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank which are held annually. At these meetings the bank presents the financial reports to the Governors who represents the shareholders, the lending and operations as well as progress on projects that have been funded by the bank. It is also used as a platform for other development partners and cooperating partners to showcase their business and finances.
Currently the major item under the spotlight was the General Capital Increase for the bank of which Namibia is generally considerate of, provided certain aspects on timing, duration, portfolio growth, and beneficial development impact for the country is ascertained.
The annual meetings focused also on the theme industrialization for Africa. The whole aim here is to transform the countries of Africa economies towards the revolving and changing industrial landscape and to join the global state of the fourth industrial revolution.
As set out in the economic performance and outlook of the Sub Saharan African countries, the economic growth for Africa as a aggregate is anticipated to average 2.7 perecent for 2018 and 3.3 percent for 2019. According to a preliminary forecast from the bank, Namibia’s economic growth is anticipated to grow by 1.2 percent and 2.1 percent for 2018 and 2019 respectively. This growth is partly driven by the minng sector and the investments in infrastructure, of which the bank is funding for Namibia. Hence the bank is directly contributing to the transformation of the African continent. Compared to other African nations Namibia is far ahead albeit with its challenges what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) calls the new generation issues such as the procurement legislation and its implementation. Public private partnerships institutional arrangements, industrial policy and industrial mapping, intellectual business registration, standards and metrology, consumer policy and law drafting. and competition policy and law implementation.
The bank has really assisted Namibia in terms of general support and in areas of developmental financing of agriculture, transport and education and further lately in terms of entrepreneurship. The portfolio of Namibia is growing to the benefit of the development of our economy and indeed to its citizens.
As alluded earlier on, the annual meetings theme for the year is on industrialisation, a key necessary developmental tool for Africa and indeed for Namibia for achieving the Harambee Prosperity Plan, NDP5 and Vision 2030. The Meeting has lauded the South Korean model for Africa’s industrialization hence the opportune time and place to hold the meeting in Korea.
Since the 1960s as with Africa, South Korea regain its self determination and has build its economy over the last 60 years on industrialisation. The experience and lessons learned at these platforms are useful for Africa to take stock of what was learned and how Africa may be at divergence with the developmental path of Korea. Lessons learned is that industrialization by itself is not a straightforward exponential process but it involves as South Korea experienced a creative and dynamic focus of identifying sectors and products who have comparative and competitive potential, agree on those sectors to ensure sufficient industrial financing and to orient the industrial policy to develop industries, upgrading of those sectors lagging behind and to develop new ones taking into account the global value chains, processing stages and market access.
The experience the industrial and economic growth of Korea shows is that the African continent has long looked to others’ ideas such as South Korea for solutions to its problems, but it needs to be worth mentioning that even though Africa and Asia have different cultures, history and political models, one issue of importance on people centered development is unequivocal.
Such a prolific statement was echoed by the Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea Kim Dong-yeon at the meetings where he stressed that the premise for development can only succeed if there is a developmental state that emphasizes people centered development with culture of work ethic and having strategic developmental priorities that are people centered. He also warned that inequality as an increasingly growing concern for the world is undermining sustainability and economic potential for the world in particular in Africa. He again emphasised the need to center growth and development on its people just as South Korea did.
This calls into question again the need to find a regulatory dispensation such as the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework that is people centered and involves on an inclusive and balanced basis the Namibian people in terms of access, opportunities, pathways, and with a economic participation driven process as center of development.
Provided its implemented effectively and efficiently, NEEEF can take Namibia to a higher growth situation from where it is currently around three percent to five to seven percent as envisioned in the NDP5 , HPP and Vision 2030.
The meetings are termed a resounding success for exponentially plotting the trajectory of the banks vision in terms of implementing and accentuating it’s high 5’s on Energize Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and improving the quality of life of all Africans.
The Busan meetings provided a tremendous opportunity for African business leaders, shareholders and stakeholders to interact with and learn first hand the Korean industrial revolution experience as well as to appreciate inspiring stories of African entrepreneurship innovation (presented by young entrepreneurs themselves) and assisted in identifying areas of investment and collaborative partnership.
The meetings also presented a business case proposition in line with the African Investment Forum to be held in South Africa as from the 8 to 9 November 2018 on Africa’s genuine need to have accelerated investment capital that is ready and prepared to accelerate inclusive, balanced and sustainable industrial revolution and industrial mapping with requisite regional value chains that reach out to the global industrial architecture. The meeting concluded by celebrating the Africa Day on 25 May 2018.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015