Equatorial Guinea readiness to host the 2019 Annual Meetings of the African Development has been confirmed. This was after the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of regional consultative meetings between the Bank and its African shareholders in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, recently.
The Annual Meetings which will attract some 3,000 participants comprising of finance ministers, governors of central banks, policymakers, civil society groups, heads of international organisations and business leaders from the Bank Group’s member states will take place from 11th to 14th June 2019 in Malabo, the state capital.
The Bank’s Annual Meetings represent a unique opportunity to discuss challenges and ways to advance the continent’s regional integration agenda.
The theme for this year theme is ‘Regional integration’ is one of the Bank’s five strategic priorities, known as the High 5s: (Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa).
With one billion people, Africa is believed to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. And that such a market could create huge opportunities for producers on the continent. But to make it a reality, African governments and regional economic communities should intensify efforts aimed at facilitating the free movement of goods, services, people and trade across borders.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, the general coordinator of the National Technical Committee in charge of the Annual Meetings, Mr Bernardo Abaga Ndong, said that the Government and people of Equatorial Guinea were ready and look forward to hosting the African Development Bank’s flagship event in 2019.
He said, “We are determined to make the Annual Meetings in our country a most resounding success that will definitely bolster our national prestige because an event with over 3,000 participants is not a small affair,” Ndong emphasised. An aide-memoire on the country’s preparedness to host the event was signed on 27th February 2019. The signing took place on the sidelines of regional consultative meetings between the Bank and its African shareholders, held in Abidjan from 25th February to 1st March 2019, and attended by Equatorial Guinea’s finance minister, Lucas Abaga Nchama.
Also speaking, the African Development Bank’s Chief of protocol, André Basse, who signed on behalf of the Bank, commended the host country for its commitment to the success of the Annual Meetings, returning this year to African soil after being held in Korea and India respectively.