The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 49th Annual Meetings and the 40th meetings of the African Development Fund (ADF) closed on Friday, May 23, 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda, after five days of exhaustive deliberations on key African and global development issues.
The Governors approved major Bank initiatives and programmes, its 2013 Annual Report and audited accounts as well as future operations and programmes.
The Governors, usually Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors representing their countries, also adopted a number of resolutions. In line with the theme of the meetings, the Governors expressed their fervent hope for a prosperous and peaceful Africa at home with itself in the next 50 years.
“This is critical to harnessing the ‘demographic dividend’ of Africa’s youth, maximizing the opportunities in agriculture and natural resources, for economic transformation and industrialization of African economies and developing timely solutions to the challenge of jobs creation,” the Governors said in a statement released at the end of the meetings.
The Board unanimously approved the establishment of “Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF)”, a US $2 billion trust fund created by China to enable the Bank respond to the growing needs of its regional member countries and private sector clients. At the same, the Governors urged the Bank to finalise and implement its resource mobilization strategy to help generate internal resources for the development needs of the continent.
The Governors commended the Bank’s management and staff for the many policies, initiatives and innovative activities put in place in the past year. They also emphasized the importance of strategic leadership in tackling the challenges facing the continent in the realization of the dreams of its people.
These challenges can be tackled through economic integration and conflict resolution as suggested in the Governors’ dialogue. They resolved to reduce physical and non-physical barriers to economic integration, and committed to work with the private sector to promote productive employment.
The Board applauded the efforts made by the Bank towards region al in Africa. It resolved to work with the African Union Commission to remove key barriers to the free movement of people as well as increase intra-African trade which can also help to address unemployment in Africa.
Stressing the importance of gender as the cornerstone of inclusive growth, the Governors urged the Bank to implement its Gender Strategy fully through its country, regional and sector operations in budgeting and programming.
There is a dire need to implement policies that can help end conflicts, they said, urging the Bank to implement its strategy for addressing conflicts. They called for concerted efforts with the international community to restore peace and stability on the continent and condemned the abduction of schoolgirls in Nigeria.
The Board commended the Bank’s President, Donald Kaberuka, and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the commitment to assist fragile states which led to the establishment of the High Level Panel on Fragile States.
The Governors welcomed the implementation of the roadmap for the return to the Bank’s headquarters, and thanked the people and Government of Tunisia where the Bank relocated in 2003 and Côte d’Ivoire for facilitating the processes.
They also expressed gratitude to the people and Government of Rwanda for their hospitality during the May 19-23 meetings, attended by an estimated 3,000 people including many Heads of State, Ministers, development experts, researchers, civil society and the media.
Turkey has become the 78th member of the Bank following the completion of the adhesion process. Luxembourg has also applied to join the Bank Group.
The next Annual Meetings will take place in May 2015 in Côte d’Ivoire which will also host the final celebrations of the Bank’s 50th anniversary in November 2014.