The African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged Nigeria and other African nations to make use of their comparative advantages to gather resources required to finance the continent’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
AfDB made this call in a statement on Tuesday, noting that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had reported a significant drop in Africa’s official development assistance to $34 billion in 2022, the lowest since 2010. The statement further revealed that the continent’s access to international capital markets had been costly and hindered by investors’ perception of high risk.
However, the organization suggested that African countries could harness their natural capital, including mineral deposits, fresh water, and forests, to attract investments and boost economic growth.
The bank’s Annual Meetings scheduled to hold from May 22 to 26 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, are aimed at demonstrating this potential. The statement revealed that Africa held 30% of global mineral reserves, including 60% of world cobalt reserves and 90% of platinum-group metals.
The continent also contributed significantly to the annual production of six key minerals, including 80% of platinum, 77% of cobalt, and 51% of manganese. Africa holds seven per cent of the world’s natural gas and oil reserves, has more than 60 per cent of undeveloped arable land, and is home to 13 per cent of the world’s population.
The statement added that 60% of the African population is under 25 years old, making it the youngest population in the world. Additionally, 75% of African countries have maritime access, offering significant opportunities in the blue economy, which has a global potential of an estimated $1.5 trillion if sustainably managed.
According to the statement, many internationally listed junior mining companies have mobilized considerable capital by promoting the value of their exploration or extraction licenses for African deposits on markets. However, governments have often failed to harness this natural potential to mobilize resources.