AfDB in Talks with East and Southern African Civil Society on Development Effectiveness

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From: 12/03/2012
To: 14/03/2012
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) in east and southern Africa are holding partnership talks in Nairobi, Kenya, aimed at improving collaboration between the two sides with a view to improving the  development effectiveness of the AfDB’s operations.

Opening the meeting, the AfDB’s regional resource centre director, Gabriel Negatu, welcomed some 20 participants from eight countries in the two sub-regions, and a representative of the CSO coalition at the African Development Bank.

Mr Negatu urged the participants to make a diligent review of the new engagement framework and provide adequate feedback on the AfDB’s Long Term Strategy, which is currently at the early formulation stage.

He said the AfDB was keen on forging close and mutually beneficial relationship with CSOs as authentic representatives of African peoples.

Principal safeguard specialist at the AfDB, Bella-Corbin Aimee, made a presentation on behalf of gender and social development manager, Ginette Ursule Yoman.  She explained that the guiding principles behind the new AfDB-CSO relationship are based on the recognition of the supporting role that CSOs play in the AfDB’s operations.

The consultations, she said, were aimed at strengthening and consolidating relations between the two sides to help foster development and reduce poverty.

Also addressing the participants, principal CSO engagement officer at the AfDB, Zeneb Toure, said the framework document provides avenues for cooperation with the AfDB at the corporate, project and country levels.

She said the framework had been designed with a view to giving CSOs full ownership of their engagement with the AfDB.

In her contribution, Milka Isinta,  of local CSO, Kudheiha Kenya, commended the AfDB’s efforts to partner with CSOs, and expressed the hope that the Nairobi consultations would consolidate these relations and help advance Africa’s development.

The two-day consultations will suggest ways and means of enhancing broad CSO participation in the conception and implementation of the institution’s policies, projects and programmes. Participants will also review and make inputs to the AfDB’s long term strategy.

The Nairobi meeting is the second of two sub-regional consultations designed to bring CSO inputs into the framework document and gathering comments on the Bank’s long term strategy. The first consultation was held in Libreville, Gabon, in February.