The Ghana Country Office of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched the celebration of the Bank’s 50th Anniversary, with an open day event at its premises in Ridge, Accra.
The Golden Jubilee celebrations which are taking place in all AfDB offices across the continent and in Kigali during the 2014 Annual Meetings from 19th -23rd May, will culminate in a main celebration in November 2014 at the Banks Headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The launch event was attended by His Excellency Vice President of the Republic, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur; several ministers of state including, Hon Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amidu Suleimani and Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Kofi Humado, and other senior Government officials.
In addition, more than 150 people including ambassadors and heads of international organizations accredited to Ghana, private sector, civil society representatives were present.
Programme management staff from ongoing and past bank funded projects, former bank staff including retired members as well as staff from the Ghana field office also participated in the event.
The open day launch event included a presentation of a video on the African Development Bank’s 50 year-journey on the continent, statements on the Banks role in Africa’s development from historical and future perspectives by key note speakers and representative of former staff and elected officers, photo exhibitions and the screening of documentary films highlighting the Banks cooperation with the Government of Ghana and its activities in the country.
Welcoming the guests to the august gathering, AfDB’s Resident Representative in Ghana, Mrs. Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade said that the Bank had remained a dynamic, solid and highly relevant institution in the face of global crises and challenges within the Continent. She added that the success of the 50 year journey could be attributed to the Banks ability to develop its strategic focus around the areas critical to Africa’s needs such as infrastructure, regional integration, private sector development, governance and skills technology and to the resilience of Management and staff.
Mrs. Akin-Olugbade indicated that the Banks mandate remained relevant today and affirmed that the Bank will continue to be at the forefront of Africas social and economic transformation. Mrs. Akin-Olugbade expressed gratitude to the Government and people of Ghana for the excellent cooperation.
Honorable Kofi Humado, Honorable Minister for Agriculture in his remarks, thanked the Bank for the support rendered to Ghana, especially in the transport and agriculture sector. He expressed the hope that in the coming future the Bank’s intervention will propel Ghana to become a Net Donor.
Two key note speakers shared their expectations for the Bank over the next fifty years. Estelle Sowah, CEO of Google Ghana expressed her desire to see a leadership from Ghana and Africa that is well informed with a clear vision to implement sound economic policies. In the main, she recommended that technology should drive innovation and big thinking to achieve equality and access to basic needs such as health and education. Mike Nyinaku, CEO of Beige Capital Group spoke on the need to develop African Entrepreneurship and called on the Bank to be bold and flexible in supporting the private sector. A former Executive Director of the Bank, Mrs Peace Ayisi- Okyere paid homage to the contributions of former staff members of the Bank.
Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur commended the Bank for its role as a key development partner for Africa and Ghana, a partner who understands Africa. He noted that the Bank had intervened in many African countries and had contributed to improving livelihoods and reducing poverty particularly through its social inclusion programmes in health and education. The Vice President also paid special tribute to the Banks valuable support to Ghana dating back to 1973 and was hopeful of a continued and excellent cooperation in future. He further highlighted the singular choice of the Bank to address the inaugural session of the recently concluded National Economic Forum, in recognition of the Banks role as a trusted partner. He formally declared the 50th Anniversary celebrations duly launched.