The African Development Bank and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) have signed a Declaration to support the “Development Finance Compact for the Lusophone Countries of Africa”.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and Maria do Carmo Silveira, Executive Secretary of CLPL, signed the agreement on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 12th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the CPLP in Santa Maria on the Island of Sal, Cabo Verde.
“Great opportunities exist to build on the long historical, linguistic and cultural ties between these countries, and with Brazil and Portugal, to shape economic partnerships that can accelerate economic growth, boost private sector development and assure faster-paced economic transformation,” said Adesina during the Summit’s Plenary Session.
The Compact will strengthen the role of the private sector in advancing sustainable and inclusive development in Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOPs). One of its main goals is to attract investments to help Lusophone African countries add value to local commodities and natural resources, drive industrialization, create jobs, and enhance sustainable growth.
“The African Development Bank recognizes Portuguese-speaking African countries do not form contiguous economic blocks similar to the French- or English-speaking zones. They therefore tend to be marginalized,” remarked Adesina during his speech.
Home to 267 million people located across the globe, Lusophone countries possess vast reserves of oil and gas, agriculture, tourism and marine resources for the blue economy. Together they form the fourth-largest producer of oil in the world.
While there are similar characteristics binding these countries, “the situations in each of the Lusophone African countries differ from one to another,” said Adesina. “No one size will fit all. The Compact is not going to duplicate existing initiatives.”
Adesina announced that, for the first time in its 54-year history, the Bank will have a Vice-President from a Lusophone African country.
Adesina also engaged in bilateral meetings with Teresa Ribeiro, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde; Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique; Stefano Manservisi, Director General of the European Commission; and members of the CPLP. He discussed the next steps of the Compact as well as opportunities between countries and the African Development Bank.
The Opening Ceremony of the Summit, marked the end of the two-year CPLP Presidency of Brazil, and the transition of the Presidency to Cabo Verde.