The African Development Bank (AfDB) has lamented that political and social unrest in some African nations is tainting investors’ views of risk on the entire continent, thereby undermining the region’s prospects for economic growth prospects.
This was revealed in a report titled African Economic Outlook 2014, co-written by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations (UN), released at the ongoing 49th annual meeting of the Bank holding in Kigali, Rwanda.
According to the report, “political risks complicate bridging the perception gap that remains a barrier to foreign investment to Africa, in particular from investors that do not yet have a presence on the continent. Lingering tensions and political instability could affect investors’ willingness to undertake planned projects”.
The report forecasts a 4.8 per cent economic growth for 2014 and 5.7 per cent in 2015 if social unrest and political uprisings are curtailed on the continent.
Civil uprisings in North Africa have toppled regimes in countries such as Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, while conflicts in Central African Republic and South Sudan have left thousands dead and others displaced. Meanwhile, Somalia, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria are among nations that have been hit by bomb attacks and kidnappings by terrorists.
The annual meeting is being attended by heads of states, finance ministers and the governors of the central banks from the 53 regional member countries (RMC) of the AfDB.
African leaders and panelists at the meeting include former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Zuma; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba; President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta; former President, Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki; and Dr. Mo Ibrahim, founder and chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Furthermore, AfDB says it will collaborate with its development partners to build capacity of parliamentarians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to enhance accountability in governance.
The statement released by the bank in Abuja on Wednesday said AfDB, in collaboration with its partners, would organise a capacity-building activity for ECOWAS parliamentarians between June 19 and June 20 in Lagos.
“Parliamentarians play a pivotal role in resource allocation, ensuring delivery on results and enhancing accountability in social sectors as African countries need to focus on results for the money spent on social services in order to foster and sustain progress in human development,” a part of the release read.
The 15 participating countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
AfDB’s partners at the meeting are the Government of Norway (NORAD), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the Harmonisation for Health in Africa (HHA) and World Health Organisation (WHO).
Others are the World Bank, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI), Gates Foundation and Clinton Access Initiative.