Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will kick off on
Monday in South Korea's
Busan to review means of promoting economic and industrial cooperation between Africa and S.Korea.
from 35 African states will take part in the five-day event which is held under
the theme of “Accelerating
AfDB was established in 1964 as a way to contribute to the economic and social
development of Africa through promoting
investment with 54 member countries from the continent and 26 from outside the
region. South Korea
joined the organization in 1984.
is the fifth time for the bank to arrange its annual meeting outside Africa.
May 22 and 24, in
tandem with the Annual Meetings, the 2018 Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation
(KOAFEC) Conference will address, “Africa and the 4th Industrial
Revolution: Opportunities for leapfrogging?”
Africa is one of the Bank’sHigh five
priorities to speed up the continent’s development. As Bank President,
Akinwumi Adesina states, “The secret of the wealth of nations is clear:
developed nations add value to everything they produce, while poor nations
export raw materials. Africa must quit being
at the bottom of the global value chains and move rapidly to industrialize,
with value addition to everything that it produces.”
Korea, and Busan in
particular, provide solid evidence for discussions about why some countries,
especially in Africa, stagnate while others
make tremendous progress thanks to industrialization. In the 1960s, Korea’s
economic prospects were more challenging than those of most African countries.
Today, it is at the top of the development ladder.
Korea’s industrial transformation is famous for high-tech consumer electronics, cars, ships and oil and gas platforms. Korea is currently building the world’s largest semi-submersible platform.
Africa’s lack of industries is largely responsible for its low standing in global development. African industry generates an average of $700 of GDP per capita, barely one-fifth of East Asia’s $3,400, which probably explains why it continues to depend for most needs on industrialized economies despite its own strong economic growth for almost two decades.
Low-tech unprocessed natural resources comprise the bulk of African exports, representing more than 80% of exports from Algeria, Angola or Nigeria, for example.
At the Annual Meetings, thousands of delegates, Heads of State, public and private sector CEOs, development partners, academics, civil society and media gather to reflect on Africa’s industrialization and related issues including climate change, infrastructure, private sector and governance.
A series of knowledge events are organized to generate new ideas for developing and financing Africa’s industrialization. The meetings will include a High-Level Presidential Dialogue: Visions, Experiments and Lessons Learned at whose panel political leaders from Africa and Korea will present their visions and strategies for industrialization and ideas for overcoming the challenges of implementation.
On Wednesday, May 23, the Bank will launch its flagship economic publication, African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2018. The following day, it will provide an overview of its operations, financial profile and capital market activities for 2017 during the Financial Presentation.