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Chakwera tasked to Champion IDA in SADC

By Leonard Masauli in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, April 29: President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has been assigned the responsibility of spearheading the Africa International Development Championship for countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

The decision was announced on Monday on the sidelines of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) summit held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

The role entails President Chakwera’s leading efforts to garner support for IDA across the region.

“The objective is to leverage every available platform to garner backing for IDA21. Africa stands as the continent of the future, presenting a unique opportunity to advance the welfare of women and young people by creating jobs and fostering wealth generation, thereby facilitating genuine development,” stated Chakwera.

Reflecting on the outcomes of the summit, the President emphasised its significance, particularly considering World Bank’s activities through IDA and its provision of concessional loans.

Chakwera expressed satisfaction with World Bank’s commitment, through IDA, to collaborate with Africa and replenish IDA21.

He indicated that preliminary discussions had already begun to persuade the Bank to prioritise investments in Africa.

World Bank President, Ajay Banga, underscored the necessity for steadfast global support, especially from IDA, as Africa navigates towards a prosperous and progressive future.

“We share a vision for Africa’s future—a continent endowed with diversity, culture and potential, notably due to its young population and natural resources. These elements can propel our future forward.

“IDA has been a reliable partner in Africa’s developmental journey, and this summit signifies our collective determination to accelerate progress.
Achieving this goal will necessitate increased contributions from IDA, the World Bank Group, governments and private sector,” remarked Banga.

For decades, IDA has served as a catalyst for economic growth across Africa, facilitating progress through grants and highly concessional loans. These investments have fuelled strategic initiatives aimed at building a skilled and healthy workforce and fostering job creation in industries such as agriculture.

Presently, IDA extends support to 75 nations, with 39 of them located in Africa. Over 70 percent of its resources are directed towards the continent, playing a crucial role in the World Bank Group objective of providing electricity to 250 million Africans by 2030.

The call for replenishment comes amidst a multitude of interconnected challenges, including pandemics, climate change, food insecurity, fragility and conflict yet Africa also holds immense potential, with abundant natural resources, plentiful sunshine, and the world’s fastest-growing youth population.

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