The African Development Bank (AfDB) president, Akinwumi Adesina, describes energy as “the lifeblood of any society and the passport to economic transformation”. As such, energy is at the top of the bank’s “High 5” priorities – 1) light up and power Africa, 2) feed Africa, 3) industrialise Africa, 4) integrate Africa, and 5) improve the quality of life for Africans.


The new international targets to improve people’s lives and protect life on the planet, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), do much more than just extend for another 15 years the remit of the Millennium Development Goals.


Without affordable, reliable electricity, healthcare, education and business potential is curtailed. Countries that are able to meet the energy needs of all their citizens are wealthier, more resilient and better able to advance human development.

Kofi Annan

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me start by saying how pleased I am to be with you today.

I want to thank the German government and the OECD both for my invitation and, more importantly, for bringing together so many distinguished and influential figures.




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