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Adesina Harps On AfDB’s Partnership With Caribbean Development Bank

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has expressed his appreciation of the mutually rewarding collaboration between the Bank group and the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB).

The bank chief said delivering sustainable development, prosperity and improved quality of life for citizens is a mandate the AfDB and the CDB have in common, adding that the exchanging of ideas, expertise and information is a benefit of the partnership between both institutions.

Dr. Adesina will deliver this year’s edition of the prestigious William G. Demas Memorial Lecture at the (CDB’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.

“It will be an honour to deliver the William G. Lecture and help the Caribbean and the international community benefit from the efforts, experience and success of the AfDB”, he said.

The William G. Demas Memorial Lecture Series is in honour of the Late Honourable William Gilbert Demas, outstanding economic scholar and public servant to the Caribbean. Mr. Demas served as the second president of the Caribbean Development Bank as well as filled the highest offices in major Regional institutions aimed at promoting integration through economic and social development.

The lecture is an integral part of the CDB’s Annual Board of Governors’ Meeting and it showcases the best intellectual discourse available regionally and internationally. It was inaugurated in October 2000 with a view to disseminating the ideas of eminent persons on topics pertinent to Caribbean development, broadly interpreted, in honour of the outstanding contributions of William Demas.

Notably, the lecture attracts an audience of CDB Governors, Directors, Management and Staff, host country government ministers and officials, representatives from regional and international financial institutions, the diplomatic corps, and the general public.

As the 2022 keynote speaker, he will also share lesson-learned from the AFDB experience, and make recommendations for propelling sustainable development in developing economies including the Caribbean. The lecture comes against the backdrop of the push from both CARICOM and the African Union to deepen relations between Africa and the Caribbean with an emphasis on trade, investment and financial partnerships.

The globally renowned economist and agricultural development expert will also give a wide-ranging address drawing on success stories from the AfDB’s “High 5”, a game-changing initiative which he unveiled when he assumed leadership of the Bank in 2015.

The project focuses on accelerating economic transformation across African through five areas of focus, expanded energy deployment, greater food security, increased industrialisation, deeper integration, and enhanced quality of life of citizens across the continent.

Known as bold reformer, Dr. Adesina served as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015 and is credited with transforming the sector through innovations including the use of mobile technology and monetary systems. Under his leadership, the AFDB Group achieved its highest capital increase in 2019 when shareholders raised the general capital from $93 billion to a historic $208 billion. ‘

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria, and both a master’s degree and PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in the United States of America. The bank chief has equally received numerous honours and accolades including being named African of the Year by Forbes Africa.

President of CDB, Dr. Gene Leon said: “While there is a historical link between the Caribbean and Africa, we must now seek to forge economic linkages and development partnerships to build the economies and societies of both the Region and the Continent and also to learn from each other, and we are looking forward to being both guided and inspired by what Dr. Adesina has to share”.

The William G. Demas Memorial Lecture showcases the best intellectual discourse available regionally and internationally. Through the series of its editions, over the years, the spirit of William Demas’ scholarship has been upheld by distinguished lecturers who have all been committed to economic development.

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