YES–Ghana, represented by its Communications and Mobilistaion Associate, Dela Ayivor, was one of few institutions invited by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to participate in the debate among seven African personalities vying for the position of President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The debate, held in Washington DC by the Centre for Global Development (CDG), the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the African School of Economics (ASE), was aimed at exposing the audience to the most experienced candidates in areas concerning the development of the African continent in addition to their knowledge and understanding of the work of the AfDB.
The candidates; Akinwumi A. Adesini (Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria), Jaloul Ayed (former Minister of Finance, Tunisia), Kordje Bedoumra (Minister of Finance Chad), Cristina Duarte (Minister of Finance and Planning, Cape Verde), Samura M. W. Kamara (Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sierra Leone), Thomas Z. Sakala (former Vice President for Country and Regional Programmes, AfDB, Zimbabwe) and Birama Boubacar Sidibe (Vice President of Operations, Islamic Development Bank, Mali) shared their visions for this vital institution and faced questions from expert audiences across continents on key issues such as the future of the AfDB, governance and modernization of the Bank.
Several insightful key points were raised by the candidates during this debate. Kordje Bedoumra and Samura Kamara both stressed on the need to invest in job creation for youth, women empowerment as well as peace and security. Jaloul Ayed and Cristina Duarte pointed out that good governance is a key strategy to fighting corruption in addition to mutual accountability between countries and the AfDB. Thomas Sakala mentioned that utilizing and managing natural resources was very necessary in raising revenue on national levels. Akinwumi Adesini and Birama Sidibe also encouraged African relationships with China. Birama Sidibe pointed out that Africa will be the next global market while Akinwumi Adesini saw the need for Africa to trade more with China but on Africa’s own terms.
The Debate, moderated by Rajesh Mirchandani, former BBC anchor and now CGD Senior Director of Communications and Policy was webcast live around the world, with co-hosted events in Ghana at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and in Benin at the African School of Economics (ASE).