Africa Day, for the first time is to be commemorated by the African Development Bank at its Annual Meeting slated for Busan, South Korea.

The day has been set aside to mark the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity now christened African Union on May 25, 1963.

Professor Vincent Nmehielle, the Bank’s Group Secretary General said “One unique aspect of the Annual Meetings this year is the celebration of Africa Day, a diplomatic event that African Ambassadors based in Korea will highlight” during the closing ceremony of the meetings.

The Secretary-General made the remarks while sharing key information on the 2018 Annual Meetings with journalists and media practitioners from Africa and abroad.

The theme of the Annual Meetings is “Accelerating Africa’s Industrialisation” and during the Meetings, the Boards of Governors, the highest decision-making and oversight organ of the Bank, will review the Bank’s Annual Report on the finances, operations and other activities of the institution during the preceding year, he said.

The Governors, usually Finance Ministers or Central Bank Governors representing the 80 member countries of the Bank Group, will also adopt resolutions on key decisions and conclusions of their deliberations and will discuss the Bank’s enabling role in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and related operations funding programmes.

There will also be a series of knowledge events to generate new ideas for financing Africa’s industrialisation.

After the formal opening ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, the Governors will hold their first, second and third statutory meetings (May 23-25), followed by the release of the official communiqué and records of the deliberations ahead of the closing ceremony.

Alassane Haidara, a Manager in the Bank’s Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation Complex, said the Bank’s Industrialisation Strategy was hinged on six flagship programmes: direct investment in power and infrastructure; capital market development for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); support to entrepreneurship; partnerships; and industrial clusters.

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