AfDB cites inequalities as challenge for Africa

THE Mongu-Kalabo road has potential to generate revenue for the country through trade.

CONTINUED increase in economic and social inequalities in Africa needs to be eliminated if development is to be achieved, Africa Development Bank (AfDB) says.
Speaking at the just-ended growth week, a platform where experts discuss and offer solutions to Africa’s and Asia’s growth, AfDB president Donald Kaberuka said addressing inequalities will result in the growth of the middle class which remains critical in influencing sound political and economic agenda of the continent.
“Indicators show that inequalities are increasing, some people are rich and own private jets, while others are poor and have to walk kilometres on unpaved roads. The message I keep giving people is that it is not about how many millionaires are being created but how many people are pulled out of poverty,” he said.
The inequalities have resulted in political unrest in some African countries. Dr Kuberuka highlighted the need for concerted efforts in ensuring equitable distribution of wealth and resources, a move that will result is sustained growth.
The growth week is an annual forum organised by the International Growth Centre, a think tank under the auspices of the London School of Economics and Political Science and Oxford University.
Dr Kaberuka said there is need to advance the regional integration agenda for the continent to achieve development.
“Whatever is happening in Africa will happen faster or slowly depending on how quickly we come together as a single market,” he said, citing investment in infrastructure as some of the solutions to Africa’s growth.
African economics cannot run effectively without basic infrastructure such as power stations, roads, rail and water transport.
“Africa can grow more than it is growing now if all infrastructure bottlenecks are addressed,” he said.
On Ebola, Dr Kaberuka said the epidemic, which has hit some West African countries, will have an adverse economic impact on the respective affected countries, adding that “The bank is expected to inject funds to combat the disease”.

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