Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says the outstanding support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is enough to consider welcoming the country as a member of the bank.
According to a statement by the AfDB, Adesina ended a three-day visit to the UAE on Friday.
During the visit to the UAE, the AfDB president attended the world government summit and the closing event for the Expo 2020 Dubai.
He also held meetings with government officials in Dubai during which he “discussed strategic opportunities that would strengthen economic ties between the UAE, the Bank and Africa”.
Adesina lauded the leadership of the UAE for providing support to low-income countries, adding that its consistent participation in growth makes it a potential country to become a significant investment partner in Africa.
“There is a lot that Africa can draw from the UAE’s remarkable success. What the UAE has done, using its resources, its drive and determination to develop the country into what it is today is highly impressive,” Adesina was quoted as saying.
“We are keen to see the UAE become an even more valued and significant investment partner in Africa. The UAE has been a highly valued participant in the African Development Fund, our Bank Group’s concessionary lending arm supporting low-income countries since 1978.
“Hopefully, we may at some point be able to welcome the UAE as a member of the African Development Bank.”
According to the statement, Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE minister of state in charge of African affairs, said his country is committed to the continent’s growth.
“UAE desires to help African countries diversify their economies, provide value-added support for small and medium-sized enterprises, explore potential social housing investment opportunities, and connect young African fintech companies to innovations that would allow them to grow and thrive on the continent,” the UAE minister was quoted as saying.
“We consider the African Development Bank to be the continent’s Think Tank. We believe that Africa is the world’s next growth frontier and we don’t want to miss that.”