Thirteen African Heads of State and governments concluded their one-day meeting in Abidjan on Friday with a strong resolution to accelerate economic recovery from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, scale-up investments in human capital, and increase their job creation efforts.
They called for a robust 20th replenishment of the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA20) to support these efforts.
In a joint declaration endorsed at the meeting, the Heads of State emphasised that economic recovery, job creation, and investments in human capital, including expanding access to vaccines were critical to help people recover from the shocks of the pandemic, get out of extreme poverty, and build a more resilient and inclusive future.
“The funding process that begins in Abidjan will conclude at the end of this year with a policy and financial package to support specific projects in the 74 IDA countries over the next three years. The goal to mobilise an IDA20 replenishment envelope of at least $100 billion, for three years, would be the largest amount raised in IDA’s history. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate that solidarity is effectively essential for the good of all and that we can act together to return to the path of income convergence that we were on prior to the pandemic and build a safer and prosperous world,” said President Alassane Ouattara of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
“We know that when the World Bank has the backing of all its stakeholders, it has the capacity and oversight to make a difference.”
On jobs, the leaders committed to job creation efforts by developing the private sector, with emphasis on improving productivity through broad based digitalisation, mechanisation, African manufacturing including vaccines, and improved access to finance and better business environment.
BY TIMES REPORTER