Participants' Reactions

Modibo Diarra
Modibo Diarra

Modibo Diarra, Microsoft Africa President

Question: What is your feeling regarding the AfDB Annual Meetings?

Answer: As you already know, the AfDB 2010 Annual Meetings taking place in Côte d’Ivoire are very important for the continent, the AfDB itself and the host country where the institution’s headquarters is located. It is the largest event regarding Africa’s future and development. It brings together researchers, policy-makers, businesspeople, representatives of civil society organizations and development experts. It is an important moment of reflection for all the people of this continent. Microsoft Africa does not miss such opportunities to move forward its programme for the continent. The continent abounds with unused resources. The AfDB and Microsoft are working on a number of strategic projects designed to help the continent emerge from its current situation.


Soumeya Benallegue
Soumeya Benallegue

Mrs. Soumeya Benallegue, Spouse Program: “I see my participation as an opportunity to better support my spouse in efforts at fighting poverty in Africa.”

Question: You are coming to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for the first time to participate in the spouse program organized within the framework of the Annual Meetings. What are your feelings?

Answer: This is the first time that I am visiting Côte d’Ivoire. It’s a beautiful country. I am impressed by the warm welcome we had right at the airport. I would like to thank AfDB and Ivorian officials for the facilities provided within the framework of our program. What impresses me more is the constant movement of people marked by reunions. Africa’s presence is felt in these Annual Meetings. This is formidable! I have had news of the spouse program and I look forward to its commencement. The program will, I am sure, enable us gain a better understanding of Abidjan and its outskirts, its culture and its historical sites. I will appreciate anything that will enable me gain a better understanding of the continent to which I belong and help me share my husband’s real-life experience as an AfDB executive director. I am already aware of the strategic role that AfDB executive directors play and I see my participation as an opportunity to better support my spouse in his efforts to help the continent in its fight against poverty. I am grateful to the AfDB for this opportunity that it is offering to spouses.


Evariste Tié Méambly
Evariste Tié Méambly

Evariste Tié Méambly, Businessman: “Every Ivorian is duty-bound to help bring back the AfDB to Côte d’Ivoire.”

Question: What is your reaction to this strong mobilization in Abidjan for the AfDB Annual Meetings?

Answer: I am pleased to see how the AfDB is preparing its Annual Meetings which are being held for the first time since the Bank relocated to Tunisia. Every attention is on Abidjan and the AfDB which during a whole week will the venue for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and contact information. On behalf of the national support committee to reunification forces (CONASFOR), I would like to wish the AfDB the best. We are grateful to the AfDB and its officials for organizing the event in Côte d’Ivoire; something which could be viewed as the AfDB stretching its hand to Côte d’Ivoire. I think it is in our interest to seize this opportunity. Each Ivorian should reserve a warm welcome the Bank and its staff, to ensure the meetings which are important to us are a total success. In my view, it is by contributing to the peace process that we can help bring back the AfDB to its headquarters.


Suzana Brixiova
Suzana Brixiova

Suzana Brixiova, AfDB Principal Research Economist: “This is an occasion to hear what African Policy makers and various analysts consider as key challenges for the continent”

Question: What is your feeling about this meeting being held at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan?

Response: It is exciting to be here for the first time to attend the AfDB Annual meetings. Of course, I’ve worked in Africa before.  But my presence in the 2010 Annual Meetings provides me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge about the continent, which I can apply in my daily work. It also gives the occasion to hear what African policy-makers and various analysts consider to be the key challenges for the continent. During this meeting, the Bank’s research department will hold talks and also participate in a number of key meetings.


Marie Penn
Marie Penn

Mrs. Marie Penn, Spouse Program:

I am very proud and impressed by the efforts that President Kaberuka has undertaken during his first mandate to make gender equality an important cornerstone of the Bank’s management system.

We arrived this morning and I am currently impressed at the fact that everybody present here at Hotel Ivoire is at work, putting things in place for the AfDB to have a successful Annual Meeting. My first impression is that the town is in good state and Ivorians are as welcoming as usual. This is of course the first time I am attending Bank’s Annual Meetings. I am happy it is being held in Côte d’Ivoire where we were before and where, we hope, key decisions will be taken, with regard to the Bank’s activities. We look forward to attending a successful and decisive meeting.

I am also eager to visit some of the historical and cultural places, as programmed by the spouses’ activities. The importance of attending this programme is to also to support our spouses in their work towards Africa’s development. I am very proud and impressed by the efforts that AfDB President Kaberuka has undertaken during his first mandate to make gender equality an important cornerstone of the Bank’s management system, thus encouraging people all over the continent to give this crosscutting issue the importance it deserves. I wish the Bank a successful and fruitful Annual Meetings.


Prosper Poukouta
Prosper Poukouta

Prosper Poukouta, expert at the AfDB corporate services vice president’s office: “During African Development Fund discussions, the AfDB will engage in advocacy on actions undertaken, especially the accelerated recruitment campaign and the training of managers.”

Question: What is your impression about the organization and welcome reserved by the host country?

Answer: I am by the organization, especially the finishing touches on the Hotel Ivoire tower and the Palais des Congrès. I am basing my assessment on what I saw in February and March 2010 during my last visit within the framework of the AfDB-Côte d’Ivoire bilateral meetings. Regarding the welcoming of participants, it is always with great emotions that those of us who started our AfDB careers in Abidjan return to this country. You can immediately notice that the government has not spared any efforts in welcoming participants. We had noticed this right from the airport; including police express services and luggage pick-up as well as transportation services to our hotel rooms.

Question: Could you let our readers gain a better understanding of what your vice presidential complex does at the Annual Meetings?

Answer: The AfDB corporate services complex provides institutional, human and logistics support to the entire institution. This year’s support falls within a very special context. It’s worth-noting that one of the big moments of the Annual Meetings, besides the election of the president, will be the formal adoption of the AfDB general capital increase and ADF resources. The Bank must assure its shareholders and key partners that it has the institutional capacity and know-how to take up challenges and confirm its performance in the management of the global financial crisis. Regarding human resources, the complex will, during ADF discussions, engage in advocacy on actions undertaken, especially the accelerated recruitment campaign and the training of managers; the design of a number of tools (recruitment manual, career development plan, etc..) which are about to be validated by the board. It will be our unit’s responsibility to explain how the Bank’s concept will take shape through the use of state-of-the-art information technologies which guarantee better connectivity between field offices and between the Bank and its member countries.

Finally, I would like to underscore our commitment to improve communication and a positive management culture. That’s how the Leadership Management Development Program came about. This is being implemented in collaboration with the Ethics Office, Ombuds Office and the Staff Council Office.

A first meeting will take place from May 29-June, 2010, with AfDB resident representatives.


Tiémélé Kouadio René
Tiémélé Kouadio René

Tiémélé Kouadio René, ancien personnel de la BAD: «Nous souhaitons Akwaba à nos prestigieux invités de la BAD… Nous tenons à souligner notre immense joie de vivre cette importante manifestation avec le Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement»

Question: Que vous inspirent vos retrouvailles avec d’anciens collègues dans le cadre de ces assemblées annuelles de la BAD?

Réponse: Ces assemblées se tiennent à un moment où la Côte d’Ivoire sort d’une dizaine années de crise. Nous sommes très honorés que notre pays soit le centre névralgique de cette importante manifestation. Je constate que le pays et la BAD ont fait le maximum pour que les participants puissent travailler dans des conditions optimales. Nous devons avouer que ce n’était pas évident, mais avec l’engagement pris par les autorités, tout a pu se tenir dans les délais. Nous profitons de cette opportunité pour souhaiter l’Akwaba [Ndlr : la bienvenue en langue locale ivoirienne] traditionnel à tous les participants. Pour notre part à ECOBANK Hôtel Ivoire, nous avons mis en place une organisation de sorte à satisfaire vos attentes. Pour conclure, nous tenons à souligner notre immense joie de vivre cette importante manifestation avec le Groupe de la Banque africaine de développement. Notre plus grand souhait, c’est que la Côte d’Ivoire retrouve sa sérénité pour permettre aux activités économiques de prendre leur envol dans le pays.


Babylas Boton
Babylas Boton

Babylas Boton, journaliste Africa 24

  • On ne change pas une équipe qui gagne…
  • Il est tout à fait normal qu’on donne davantage de moyens à cette institution dont les actions sur le terrain sont de plus en plus visibles

Question : Selon vous, quelle est la pertinence de cette réunion pour la Côte d’Ivoire, la Banque africaine de développement et l’Afrique?

Réponse : D’abord pour la Côte d’Ivoire, la tenue de cette réunion annuelle à Abidjan est un signe d’espoir pour la normalisation du climat sociopolitique dans ce pays. Si la BAD qui a dû délocaliser son siège en 2003 du fait des troubles politiques, a accepté la tenue de cette réunion à Abidjan, c’est la preuve qu’il y a de l’espoir et que ce pays revient désormais à la normalité – un espoir partagé par tous les pays de la sous région qui ont été affectés par la crise sociopolitique en Côte d’Ivoire.

Cela constitue certainement un test dans le processus du retour de la Banque à son siège à Abidjan. Puisque toutes les attentions sont focalisées désormais sur la tenue des élections, nous espérons que tout se passera bien et que la Côte d’Ivoire va retrouver ses lettres de noblesse.

L’autre importance de cette réunion découle de l’ordre du jour, à savoir le renouvellement du mandat de son président et de l’augmentation du capital de la Banque. S’agissant du renouvellement du mandat de l’actuel président, nous sommes conscients de l’immense travail abattu par cet homme et du niveau auquel il a élevé l’institution.

Et comme on ne change pas une équipe qui gagne, le boulevard est ouvert pour le président Kaberuka.

Pour ce qui concerne l’augmentation du capital, il faut noter qu’au-delà d’une simple institution financière, la BAD est un outil au service du développement. Parlant développement, les Etats africains en ont véritablement besoin et il est donc normal qu’on donne davantage de moyens à cette institution dont les actions sur le terrain sont de plus en plus visibles.


Koffi N’guessan Béatrice
Koffi N’guessan Béatrice

Mme Koffi N’guessan Béatrice, ancien personnel de la BAD

C’est toujours un plaisir de retrouver ses anciens collègues, après quasiment une dizaine d’années de séparation forcée. C’est une occasion pour nous, d’évoquer de vieux souvenirs de la Banque. Je pense que c’est une réunion d’espoir pour toute l’Afrique. Je souhaite que l’événement porte des fruits et les résultats positifs.


Olabisi Ogunjobi
Olabisi Ogunjobi

Olabisi Ogunjobi, AfDB Former Vice President: «Holding these meetings in Abidjan is a sign that the lion is coming back home»

I think organizing the Bank’s meetings in Abidjan is a strong message that shows the lion is on its way back home. This is a golden opportunity opened for Côte d’Ivoire.  This meeting falls at a moment Côte d’Ivoire is recovering from a deep crisis. As you also know well, decision makers, Non Governmental Organizations, researchers, private sectors representatives among others are expected to share perspectives on key issues related to the Bank’s functioning. I would like to use this opportunity to express my appreciation at the achievements in the Bank.


Goffri Lydia
Goffri Lydia

Goffri Lydia, personnel de la BAD, Abidjan : «Je voudrais souligner que nous plaçons beaucoup d’espoir en ces assises»

Question: Que vous inspirent vos retrouvailles avec des collègues dans le cadre de ces assemblées annuelles de la BAD?

Réponse : Je voudrais au prime abord vous dire que c’est une immense joie pour moi et pour de nombreux collègues d’Abidjan, que ces Assemblées se déroulent en Côte d’Ivoire, qui est abrite le siège de l’institution. C’est une preuve que la Banque peut toujours revenir. C’est un message d’espoir et nous ne pouvons que solliciter la clairvoyance de nos responsables pour œuvrer dans le sens d’un retour. En tout cas, les collègues d’Abidjan nourrissent l’espoir de retrouver au plus tôt leurs frères et sœurs partis à Tunis. Nous seront très heureux d’avoir nos frères et sœurs tunisiens parmi nous au jour du grand retour à Abidjan. Encore une fois, je voudrais souligner que nous plaçons beaucoup d’espoir à ces assises.


Athanasius Coker
Athanasius Coker

Athanasius Coker, AfDB Principal Performance Monitoring and Strategy Officer: “The reassessment and adjustment of our thinking is even more important at a time when our institution and its partners are facing unprecedented need for adjustment of indicative financial projections, budgetary outlook and fiscal adjustments”

Questions: What are your appreciations of the agenda of this year’s Annual Meetings?

Response: The agenda is forward looking and provides the Bank with an opportunity for management to interact and gain guidance from its various stakeholders on several of its priority areas for the coming years. The fact that it is taking place in the institution’s headquarters is also something important. This is especially important as the Bank receives a vote of confidence from shareholders through the granting of a large general capital increase and as we negotiate the replenishment of ADF Funds for our regional member countries. The focus on climate change is of particular importance as the Bank seeks to satisfy developmental demands of its regional members.

Question: What are some of the concrete output from your participation at the Annual Meeting?

Response: As you know, the Bank will finalize later in the year a mid-term review of the Medium Term Strategy as well as develop inputs for a longer term strategy going forward. In that regard, Governors dialogue and other discussions at this year’s meetings provides me with an opportunity to get a sense of what the Bank’s stakeholders want in terms of the core priorities and policies that the Bank should be pursuing in the coming years. This reassessment and adjustment of our thinking is even more important at a time when our institution and its partners are facing unprecedented need for adjustment of indicative financial projections, budgetary outlook and fiscal adjustments.