Speeches & Interviews

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Participants' Reactions

As the world of development finance shifts base to Arusha for the 2012 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group, the hallways of the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), are abuzz with commentaries and questions:

How is the meeting going? What are the main issues in these meetings? What concreted results is the Bank showcasing? What do delegates say about these actions? Here are some the key messages from participants:


Mary Muduuli, AfDB Executive Director for Tanzania

We welcome each and every one to Arusha. Everything is ready and going on well.  Most delegates are in Arusha. Side events have started and people are enthusiastic attending. We have high expectations of the outcomes of the Annual Meetings. Journalists are around and are talking with participants. Everything is under control and we are glad. The general feedback is good.


The Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium, William Lyakurwa

How research help the continent face the challenges emerging from the global crisis?

“Speaking on behalf of the entire network of economists of Sub Saharan Africa and beyond that the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) represents, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the substance and gravity of the discussions in this year’s series of seminars on the general theme of ‘Africa in the New Emerging Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities.’”.

On a personal level, in more than 30 years of engagement with policy discourse, I have watched the domino effects of discussions as  weighty as we have had today have a positive impact on citizens’ welfare on two important counts.

The first and most important of these is heightened awareness of those in key policy making positions to the issues at stake. This is not to say that those conducting research are spared either. I can bet my last Tanzanian shilling that none of us will approach Africa’s role globally in the same way after all the interactions we have had today.

The second and equally important impact of today’s event is the cross-pollination of ideas – learning from each other’s successes and challenges, and together galvanizing our focus to better manage the opportunities and challenges facing our continent today, for a brighter future tomorrow

For policy making to have any meaning or to be effective, it has to be informed by the results of rigorous, empirical research. Similarly, policy relevant research on its own cannot be effective in informing the policy making process. Therefore for optimal effect, we are obliged to have an avenue for interactions between research output and policy makers.

The Annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) provides such an avenue. An added feature of the profile of the meeting participants  is that a growing number of individuals grounded in research have crossed over to the policy making arena, and are thus in a position to formulate policies that are relevant in context.

Pulling off the four high level seminars as well as side events is no mean feat and certainly deserves commendation. The seminars and side events addressed themes that are critical of the management growth and development of African economies. More importantly, they have drawn from policy oriented research that is geared towards informing the policy making process without which there would have been empty talk. The presence of well-informed policy makers in the workshops enriched the discussion and there was something for everybody as a take away.

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"Indeed African governments have a key role as a partner to the Bank in achieving inclusive growth"

Read AfDB Chief Economist interview