The new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said he will in the incoming years, focus on tackling Africa’s chronic power shortages to unlock its economic potential.
Adesina, a former Nigerian agriculture minister, said this at his swearing-in as AfDB’s eighth president on Tuesday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
He said unlocking the continent’s economic potential would help in ending its vulnerability to fluctuations in commodity prices.
“Though it boasts nearly a billion people, sub-Saharan Africa consumes about as much power as Spain, with less than five percent that number, due to poor generating capacity and limited transmission networks.
“Two-thirds of Africans have no access to electricity.
“The lack of reliable power grids is a major obstacle to industrialising the continent’s economies at a time when Africa hopes to make a transition from commodities producer to a manufacturing hub and challenge Asia where labour costs are rising,’’ he said. Read more