Solomon Quaynor (2nd from left), Vice-President, African Development Bank, launching the 2025 African Prosperity Dialogues. Applauding are Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko (left), Executive Chairman, Africa Prosperity Network; Dr Mohammed Amin Adam (3rd from left); Minister of Finance; Dr Charles Abani (4th from left), UN Resident Coordinator to Ghana, Marufatu Abiola Bawuah (4th from right), CEO, UBA Africa; Kofi Osafo-Maafo (3rd from right), Director-General, SSNIT; Moh Damush (2nd from right), CEO, Telecel Group,  and John-Peter Amewu (right), Minister of Railways Development. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Solomon Quaynor (2nd from left), Vice-President, African Development Bank, launching the 2025 African Prosperity Dialogues. Applauding are Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko (left), Executive Chairman, Africa Prosperity Network; Dr Mohammed Amin Adam (3rd from left); Minister of Finance; Dr Charles Abani (4th from left), UN Resident Coordinator to Ghana, Marufatu Abiola Bawuah (4th from right), CEO, UBA Africa; Kofi Osafo-Maafo (3rd from right), Director-General, SSNIT; Moh Damush (2nd from right), CEO, Telecel Group, and John-Peter Amewu (right), Minister of Railways Development. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

African Prosperity Dialogues 3rd edition launched - Continent charged to invest in infrastructure

The third edition of the African Prosperity Dialogues (APD) has been launched with a call on Ghana and other African countries to prioritise investment in critical infrastructure needed to facilitate intra-African trade.

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The Minister of Finance, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, who made the call, said investment in energy, digital platforms, transportation and logistics would serve as an enabler to sustainable development of the continent.

He stressed that with Africa's population projected to hit 2.5 billion in the next 25 years, with 70 per cent of the population being youthful, as well as having the largest market, the continent could realise its highest potential in trade if there was targeted investment in critical infrastructure to serve as a catalyst.

Dr Adam stated this at the launch of the APD in Accra on May 12, on the theme: "Delivering Africa's Prosperity through Infrastructure: Invest. Integrate. Connect."

Context

The APD is an initiative of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), an independent, African-owned and not-for-profit organisation committed to the creation of prosperity for Africans.

The APD is designed to offer an annual platform to drive intra-African trade. It is a platform where the highest political and business decision-makers in Africa discuss and come up with actionable initiatives to enhance trade and prosperity in Africa, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Collective action

An estimated 546 million people are now living in poverty, and 149 million non-poor Africans are at risk of falling into it. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) also estimates that the annual Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) financing gap for developing countries has increased by $1.7 trillion.

Additionally, the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates that closing the continent's infrastructure gap would require a minimum of $130 billion annually. Against these backdrops, the Finance Minister stated that the challenges African countries faced - from infrastructure deficits to economic disparities, required “collective action and partnership on a continental scale”.

“We must redouble our efforts to invest in critical infrastructure projects, including transportation, energy and digital connectivity to unlock Africa's full potential for trade and investment,” he stressed.

Dr Adam emphasised the importance of supporting Africa's financial and development finance institutions (DFIs) to play a more active role in financing development initiatives across the continent.

“Strengthening the capacity and resources of DFIs will enable them to mobilise capital more effectively and channel investments towards priority sectors, including energy, transportation and telecommunications,” he said.

The Finance Minister added that there ought to be strategic and innovative financing across African countries, given that traditional financing mechanisms might no longer suffice in meeting the growing demands of the continent’s rapidly expanding economies.

The minister said the way out wasfor  attention to be turned towards public private partnership (PPPs), green bonds and leveraging digital technologies to enhance financial inclusion and access to capital. 

Timely move

The Executive Chairman of APN, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, said the third edition of the APD served as a timely platform to reaffirm network’s commitment to advancing prosperity and development across the continent.

He urged all stakeholders to seize the opportunity to embrace innovation, foster partnerships and move together towards a more prosperous and sustainable future for all Africans.

Mr Otchere-Darko said the theme for the APD had been aptly chosen to resonate with the country’s vision for a more interconnected and prosperous Africa and AU Agenda 2063.

He added that the private sector was key to the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was why the APN and other partners, including financial institutions, were committed to mobilising private capital to facilitate development across the continent.

Progressive initiative

The High Commissioner of Rwanda to Ghana, Rosemary Mbabazi, said the APD was a progressive initiative as it had the potential to mobilise both material and human resources to facilitate sustainable development.

She said AfCFTA was a catalyst for development, which was why African countries needed to prioritise cross-border infrastructure investment. In particular, she said, there was the need for investment in a robust cross-border digital infrastructure to promote digital trade.

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