AfDB President Announces New Reforms

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In the run-up to its 2010 Annual Meetings, the African Development Bank is implementing various commitments it made to its shareholders following the announcement of a 200% increase in its general capital.  These measures cover transparency, financial strength and the capacity of the Bank to meet new requirements from African countries.

The AfDB president, Donald Kaberuka, announced a new move to boost the institution’s transparency to the Bank’s Management Team at an important briefing meeting on Tuesday, 11 May 2010.  The Heads of Departments will now be accountable for putting into action the Bank’s policy on information dissemination.  “The directors’ annual evaluation will now include key performance indicators related to the communications effort of their department”, said the AfDB president.  The Bank’s policy on information dissemination, he recalled in this regard states that, “all information on Bank activities and operations will be released, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so”.  A revision of this information dissemination policy, dating from 2004, is underway to further increase the scope of information that can be released.

The AfDB has also implemented another major commitment to its shareholders. “We were committed to review the Bank’s loan pricing before the Annual Meetings: now it’s been done”, declared President Kaberuka.  The new policy, effective from 1 January 2011, is a series of measures to incorporate more consistent institutional goals (including the institution’s co-operative nature, the maintenance of its financial strength, and the need to ensure competitive rates for borrowers).  While ensuring the Bank’s solidity and long-term financial capability, the measures will enable it to maintain transparency, predictability of pricing and ensure its ability to borrow at competitive rates on the capital markets.  It also maintains the effectiveness of its financial intermediation role for the benefit of African countries.

Another important front is climate change.  In line with the Bank’s commitment to give priority to climate change and related issues, Mr. Kaberuka announced a fine-tuning in the Bank’s organizational set-up to give better support to African countries in adapting to climate change.  The Bank now has a department of energy, environment and climate change, under the auspices of the Vice Presidency for infrastructure, private sector and regional integration.  This decision is in anticipation of the potentially significant impact of infrastructure development on the climate, and will better equip the Bank to improve results in this field of operation.  The new department will promote the inclusion of environmental and climate change issues in AfDB operations, and will play a key part in advocacy, counseling and reviewing lessons learnt so they can be taken into account in developing policies and programmes.