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African Development Bank President tells CNN why the world should bet on Africa

On the latest Marketplace Africa, Eleni Giokos speaks to the African Development Bank (AFDB) President Akinwumi Adesina about AI, green tech, and why the world should bet on Africa.

Whether it’s mobilising investors or developing infrastructure, the AFDB works to elevate economic prospects across Africa. Adesina discusses the current outlook, “I’m proud of the fact that African economies today have 11 out of the 25 fastest growing economies in the world. We have a GDP growth rate of 3.8% which is above the global average. But that’s not the issue. It is that the per capita GDP growth is actually quite low.”

Artificial intelligence is set to change the world in many ways. Adesina says it will have a monetary effect on the continent, “In Africa [AI] will add about $1.2 trillion to the African economy.”

He expands, “We invest quite a lot in the energy sector. And so, what AI would tell you is the performance of the entire transmission infrastructure. It will tell you quite a lot about where that is going on and what needs to be done about it to fix it. So, AI plays a big role. But take also the case of water, artificial intelligence and with remote sensing data allows you to be able to do things like smart metering.”

Looking to the future, Adesina says he wants to empower the next generation, “The young people we have in Africa are brilliant, they are smart, they are dedicated. We need to make sure they have the financing to turn their ideas into great businesses because we need to create youth-based wealth in Africa.”

The AFDB president says that many of the world’s problems can be solved on the continent and hopes that other countries will invest in this success, “You’re talking about the future of electric cars in the world. That future depends on what Africa does with its platinum, with lithium, with its copper, with manganese. And when you talk about feeding the world, you know, 65% of the uncultivated land left to feed the world, right? It’s not in any part of the world it’s in Africa. So, what Africa does is going to determine the future of food in the world. So basically, what we have to do is… Africa is the investment destination of choice. Our job is to constantly make sure that we can market Africa.”

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