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    Thursday, July 4, 2024

    Angola: AfDB VP, Akin-Olugbade Embarks on Mission to Enhance Development Impact

    The parties deliberated on the collaboration between Angola and the Bank, emphasizing its priorities of enhancing economic diversification and fostering job growth.

    AfDB Vice President Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade (right) meets with Angolan Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Dr António Francisco de Assis ( centre) and AfDB Country Manager for Angola Pietro Toigo during an official visit. Angola, June 2024

    Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Vice President of Regional Delivery, Integration, and Business Delivery at the African Development Bank (AfDB), recently concluded a mission to Angola. During her visit, she engaged in high-level discussions with government officials to lay the groundwork for the implementation of the Bank's new Country Strategy Paper for 2024-2029.

    The primary goal of the mission from June 25 to 28 was to develop the country strategy paper, which will serve as the roadmap for the five-year collaboration between the Bank and Angola. The main message conveyed to the authorities was the Bank's commitment to undertaking more substantial and transformative operations in Angola..

    During her visit, the Vice President engaged in productive discussions with senior government officials, including the esteemed Minister of Planning and Governor of the Bank, Victor Hugo Guilherme, the esteemed Minister of Finance and Alternate Governor, and esteemed representatives from various sector ministries, encompassing Energy and Water, Transport, and Agriculture, as well as the esteemed Sovereign Wealth Fund. Additionally, she was graciously received at the esteemed Presidency of the Republic by the esteemed Minister of State for Economic Coordination, José de Lima Massano.

    Akin-Olugbade held meetings with key development partners operating in Angola to explore potential areas of collaboration and synergies. Also engaged with private sector stakeholders to evaluate the progress made in implementing reforms aimed at improving Angola's business environment.

    During their meeting, the parties engaged in a productive dialogue centered around the collaborative efforts between Angola and the Bank. The discussion highlighted the key priorities of this partnership, which are:

    • Accelerating economic diversification and job creation
    • Harnessing Angola’s substantial youth potential
    • Investing in agricultural development
    • Advancing a significant pipeline of energy projects aimed at transforming Angola from a fossil fuel exporter to a supplier of clean energy for the Southern and Central African regions..

    Akin-Olugbade highlighted the substantial achievements of Bank-funded initiatives, which have effectively provided access to water and sanitation facilities for over 80,000 households in coastal regions of the country. During his visit to the Bank-sponsored Science and Technology Park in Luanda, Mr. Akin-Olugbade commended the progress made in an investment that is anticipated to significantly enhance innovation and research capabilities for academic institutions, the private sector, and emerging enterprises.

    On June 28th, the vice president officially commenced the commemoration of the African Development Bank’s 60th anniversary during a gathering that included important partners and stakeholders.

    She said: “I am delighted to see the significant progress made by Angola to diversify its economy and revive the agricultural sector, that has been growing faster than the oil sector for the past five years. I could appreciate the significant success in weathering the COVID crisis and putting public debt on a sustainable trajectory. We now have the foundation for a fruitful collaboration between Angola and the Bank to provide skills to the labour force, and opportunities for decent jobs, thereby creating hope for the youth and women.”

    Approximately 66% of the Angolan population is below the age of 25, as observed by Akin-Olugbade.

    Minister Guilherme stated: “We are delighted with the visit of VP Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade which is a testament of the prolific partnership between our country and the Bank. We welcome the AfDB’s strategic focus on supporting economic diversification beyond the oil sector by fostering sustainable agricultural value chains anchored on provision of clean energy infrastructure, reliable water supply, and transport corridors. Despite the difficult external and domestic environment compounded by multiple shocks, our government is steadfastly implementing structural reforms to boost competitiveness in the non-oil sector and foster a sustainable, green and inclusive growth consistent the objectives of our third National Development Plan (NDP 2023-27).”

    Throughout the Bank’s operational history in Angola, commencing in 1980, it has cumulatively approved projects exceeding $3 billion USD to bolster the nation’s developmental objectives.

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