By Esther Atani, The Sight News
With a population of over 1 billion people from 54 diverse countries, the African continent is the last frontier in economic progression and development and is poised to become a major voice in world economics.
This is the focus of the African Union summit and Continental Free Trade Area talks to be held in Niamey, Niger on July 7th and 8th.
The two day summit of heads of state and governments will receive a delegation of top bank officials to be led by the President of the African Development Bank, (AfDB), President Akinwumi Adesina.
President Adesina will meet with African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is the summit’s top agenda.
As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.
Another issue to be raised at the summit by President Adesina is the AfDBs AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative. The AFAWA initiative is a financial engineering innovation for women that will transform the financing landscape for women in Africa, and could help leverage at least $3 billion for women.
Meanwhile, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent to be achieved by 2063.