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African Development Bank Annual Meetings 2022: Time to tackle triple crises of food, energy and finances, says Ghanaian Finance Minister

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                            Ghana's Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday emphasized the nation's partnership with the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) in its development as he addressed reporters at a news conference to give know the next annual meetings of the institution.



Ofori-Atta described the meetings as seminal, in the context of a world seeking to rebalance itself in the wake of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine.

“The lodging is very behind.  Forty-one African economies are severely exposed to at least three simultaneous crises: rising food prices, rising energy prices and tighter financial conditions, what finance ministers now call the dreaded three f's. said Ofori-Atta.

Across Africa, food prices are currently around 34% higher, crude oil prices 60% higher and global inflation is affecting all countries, the minister said, with inflation in Ghana around 23.6%.
African Development Bank Annual Meetings 2022: Time to tackle triple crises of food, energy and finances, says Ghanaian Finance Minister

Ghana‘s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday emphasized the nation’s partnership with the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) in its development as he addressed reporters at a news conference to give know the next annual meetings of the institution.

Ofori-Atta described the meetings as seminal, in the context of a world seeking to rebalance itself in the wake of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine.

“The lodging is very behind. Forty-one African economies are severely exposed to at least three simultaneous crises: rising food prices, rising energy prices and tighter financial conditions, what finance ministers now call the dreaded three f’s. said Ofori-Atta.

Across Africa, food prices are currently around 34% higher, crude oil prices 60% higher and global inflation is affecting all countries, the minister said, with inflation in Ghana around 23.6%.

“The new poor in Africa have increased by 55 million and approximately 35 million formal jobs are at risk,” the minister said. “This toxic mix of challenges exists even as we try to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“At the African Development Bank, we have a well-positioned institution with the convening power and a network of technical and financial resources to contribute significantly to finding robust solutions to some of these intractable problems we are experiencing,” said Ofori-Atta.

During the annual meetings, scheduled for May 23-27 in Ghana‘s capital Accra, there will be a showcase of products and services from 13 indigenous industrialists and 5 fintechs on the sidelines.

Ofori-Atta also discussed the replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank Group. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Fund.

“One of the key issues is how to put pressure on our non-regionals to agree to ADF going to the capital markets to tap into the $25bn capital so we can get more resources,” Ofori-Atta said.

He said the ADF would benefit from lower interest rates, should it turn to the capital markets. Donors and multilateral institutions cannot meet Africa’s development demands.

Speaking about the cocoa value chain, Ofori-Atta highlighted the importance of adding value to increase the income of the country’s farmers in the lucrative cocoa industry. He said an emergency food plan proposed by the African Development Bank is designed to help farmers, especially with fertilizers.

The plan, which hinges on providing certified seeds of climate-adapted varieties to 20 million African farmers, would see the rapid production of 38 million tonnes of food across Africa over the next two years. With supplies disrupted by the war in Ukraine, Africa faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially imported wheat, corn and soybeans from Ukraine and Russia. The Bank has committed to invest $1.3 billion in the implementation of the plan.

“Through our longstanding partnership with the Bank, Ghana has undertaken significant infrastructure development,” the minister said. He also pointed to other areas of collaboration, including education, modernization of agriculture and financing for small businesses.

“It is a good time for this AGM to take place. It could lead to a really important change in the way the global financial architecture is approached, so that we can get the resources we need to be able to transform the continent,” Ofori-Atta said.

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