The African Development Bank (AfDB), has for the first time in 15 years released summaries of the African Economic Outlook (AEO), its flagship report in three African languages: Arabic, Hausa and Kiswahili.
A statement by the bank’s Principal Communication Officer, Olivia Obiang on Monday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, said the three languages were among the most widely spoken by more than 300 million Africans.
She said releasing the report in local languages was aimed at increasing accessibility of the publication’s findings to a large segment of Africans and promoting linguistic inclusiveness.
She added that the release was also the latest innovation for increasing the relevance and timeliness of the AEO.
Obiang said for the first time in the publication’s history, the 2018 edition of the report was launched early on Jan. 17 at the bank’s headquarters by the president of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
The 2018 edition of the publication focuses on infrastructure.
The statement quoted Adesina as saying, “Infrastructure projects are among the most profitable investments any society can make.
“When productive, they significantly contribute to propel and sustain a country’s economic growth.”
Obiang also said based on preliminary results, AfDB estimates that investment needs for infrastructure would be in the range of 130-170 billion dollars a year, much higher than the commonly cited 93 billion dollars.
“Another milestone was the release of regional Economic Outlooks for Africa’s five sub-regions at the Bank’s regional hubs on March 12.
“These self-contained reports focus on priority areas of concern for each sub-region and provide analysis of the economic and social landscape.
“Specifically, the regional Economic Outlook focuses on the importance of the Congo Basin forest for Central Africa, assesses the manufacturing sector potential in Eastern Africa and discusses food security and rural poverty in North Africa.
“It also analyses competition in food value chains in Southern Africa and addresses labour markets and job issues in West Africa,’’ Obiang said.
She explained that with these new improvements, the bank hoped to transform the AEO series (main and regional editions) into a flagship that would provide comprehensive analysis and reliable up-to-date data.
It would also provide reference materials on Africa’s development challenges for researchers, investors, civil society organisations, development partners and the media.
“In the coming years, a particular emphasis will be placed on promoting linguistic inclusiveness by expanding the number of local languages in which the AEO is released.
“The bank will also take its knowledge products to influential development stakeholders such as local government officials or local NGOs, especially in rural areas, which are often not fully engaged in critical development discussions,’’ he said.
According to her, through such efforts, AfDB will further celebrate Africa’s linguistic diversity and multilingualism, while fostering home-grown solutions to Africa’s challenges. (NAN)