The successful hosting of the just ended 51st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund (ADF) in Lusaka between 23rd and 27th May, 2016 is something that we think deserves commendation.
It is gratifying to note that at the end of such high level deliberations the Board of Governors, representing a spectrum of African countries, demonstrated commitment to implementing their resolutions outlined in the communiqué.
Be that as it may, it is one thing to express commitment to do something, but it is another to implement what was resolved.
What the ordinary citizens of the various countries represented at the meeting look forward to is the immediate implementation of the resolutions by their respective Governments. A number of progressive resolutions were passed.
We concur with what President Edgar Lungu said in lauding the Bank Group for the launch of its Strategy for the New Deal for Energy in Africa. This is one of the resolutions that requires speedy implementation if African countries are to achieve sustainable economic growth. This is undoubtedly vital for obvious but cogent reasons.
There is no vibrant economy in the world that can be said to have grown without an efficient and reliable energy source to power the factories and manufacturing industries. The recent spate of deficient power supply to the core sectors of the economy experienced in most African countries is retrogressive. In the case of Zambia and many Southern African countries, the effect on the mining sector has been quite severe and resulted in spasmodic closure of some mines.
Going by the foregoing, the consequence of the closure of manufacturing and mining industries undeniably led to job loses which subsequently entrenched poverty levels amongst the people.
The communiqué reads, “We endorse the Bank Group’s response to the challenge of supporting inclusive growth and the transition to green growth, by scaling up investment and implementation of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy (TYS) with a focus on the High 5s-to Light up and Power Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.” There is obvious need for accelerated investment in this energy sector for it is the lifeblood of Africa’s economic emancipation.
We are cognisant of the strides that Government has made so far in an effort to overcome the challenges of load shedding brought about chiefly due to low water levels in Kariba dam and the lack of investment to build other power generation stations in the recent years. Though this is the case, we think Government needs to do more in that regard.
The recognition by the Board of Governors of the central role that the private sector can play in the member states’ economic growth with direct emphasis on investments in the infrastructure sector especially energy, roads and water, stresses our point of view.
We, therefore, urge our Government to take a lead in implementing the resolutions contained in the communiqué particularly that the Minister of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda, is chairperson of the Board of Governors.