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Fact Box: 52nd Annual General Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB)

The 52nd Annual General Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB) is being held at Gandhinagar in Gujarat from May 22-26, 2017. This is for the first time that this meeting is being held in India. This meeting is expected to be attended by some 4500 delegates including the finance ministers and central bank governors of AfDBs members and non-member countries.

About African Development Bank (AfDB)

African Development Bank Group (AfDB) also known as Banque Africaine de Developpment (BAD) was founded in 1964 with a mission to fight poverty and improve living conditions of the people of African continent by promoting investment in government and private capital in development projects. The bank is made of three entities viz. African Development Bank, African Development Fund, and Nigeria Trust Fund. Its headquarters are at Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The motto of the bank is “Building today, a better Africa tomorrow” and currently, it has total 78 members including India. India had joined this bank in 1983. Its unit currency (for accounting purpose) is XUA under the ISO 4217 standard currency code.

India and other Non-African Members

India is a non-African member country for this bank. Some other non-African member countries include US, Japan, Germany, Canada, France, China etc. Nigeria is the largest country in terms of voting powers at the African Development Bank, followed by United States.

Significance of the meet

So far, the annual conferences of the bank have held within African continent only. For the first time in 2017, the bank is holding its first annual conference outside Africa at Gandhinagar. This event is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  This meet is seen as a logical follow up to the India Africa Forum summit which was held in 2015 in Delhi.

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African nations developing lifestyle diseases: WHO

According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) survey of 33 countries has shown that African nations developing lifestyle diseases.

It is mainly due city life and its modern trappings which have brought bad habits to developing African nations such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol, a poor diet and low levels of physical activity.

What are lifestyle diseases?

Lifestyle diseases are defined as diseases linked unhealthy lifestyle of people. These diseases appear in countries which are on path of becoming more industrialized and people live longer life. These diseased are commonly caused by alcohol, drug and smoking abuse as well as lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating. Some of the diseases that impact lifestyle are heart disease, stroke, obesity and type II diabetes. 

Key highlights of the study
  • Developing African nations will see more die of chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes than infectious diseases by 2030.
  • There is rise in non-communicable diseases to changes in developing societies. It is estimated that 46% of Africans suffer high blood pressure, the highest worldwide.
  • Due to legislation and policy weaknesses daily tobacco use ranges from 5 to 26% in Africa and is growing. Cigarettes are often a fraction of the price in Africa than in Europe.
  • Most people in Africa were not eating enough vegetables and fruits. The rise of junk food and unhealthy diets has led to under nutrition and obesity.
  • Averages of 35% of people were overweight and that the average time spent in moderate or high intensity physical activity is less. Women were more likely to be inactive and overweight.
  • Governments in African countries should raise domestic financing mechanisms so they can accommodate this growing burden. Besides there is urgent need for reorganisation or reorientation of whole health system in Africa.

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Meeting of BRICS Representatives in charge of security held in New Delhi

The meeting of BRICS Representatives in charge of security was held in New Delhi, India. It was hosted National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.

The meeting was attended by representatives in charge of security of BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Key Highlights

  • BRICS nations underscored the demand for an international legal order to deal with the threat of terrorism.
  • They agreed to intensify cooperation against terror groups like the Islamic State in West Asia and North Africa region (WANA).
  • Highlighted the growing demand for “peace building” in the violence-torn region and focused on finding a political solution to the “outstanding issues” in the WANA region.
  • Discuss counter-terrorism, energy security, cyber-security as well as other international and regional issues of common interest.
  • China wants BRICS countries to play a bigger role in international and regional security issues, step up cooperation and coordination on major issues concerning security and contribute to peace, prosperity and stability of the world.

About West Asia North Africa (WANA) region

  • The WANA region is characterized by high population growth, low and erratic rainfall, limited arable land, and severely limited water resources.
  • It comprises 27 countries with almost 600 million inhabitants with Morocco in west, Pakistan and Afghanistan in east, Turkey in north, and Ethiopia and Sudan in south.
  • The region has been at conflict since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and notably after the creation of Israel.
  • Besides this region has seen rise of terrorism, Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy conflict, conflict between Arabs and Berbers.
  • It also has achieved its highest peaks at the 21st century in terms of security scenario such as US intervention of Iraq in 2003, rise of IS, Arab Spring that spread civil wars like situations in the whole region such as Syrian Civil War, Libyan Civil War, Iraq War and Yemeni Civil War.

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