AU, ADB and ECA Agree on Platform to address Africa’s Development Challenges
Addis Ababa, 27 February 2006 – The chief executives of Africa's top financial, economic and political, institutions met in Addis Ababa on Friday and articulated their vision of a fully integrated continent, underlining the importance of having a common platform for addressing development issues.
The President of the African Development (ADB) Group, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, the African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare, and the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulie Janneh pronounced the vision at a joint meeting they held at the AU headquarters.
"Africa’s challenges require coordinated action in the domains of promoting good governance, stability, economic reforms, trading capacity and in tackling new threats such as Avian influenza. There was need to step up our collective efforts in the areas of infrastructure and regional integrations", said the ADB chief who arrived in the Ethiopian capital Friday for a two-day visit to Ethiopia.
Mr. Kaberuka remarked that the AU, the ECA and the ADB should put in place the vehicle for translation of the vision of Africa into reality.
He said that he was convinced that with good governance and stability, greater capacity to design and deliver good policies, Africa had the prospects of becoming competitive.
"There must be a more effective way in which key institutions can link their actions on such matters as support to counties emerging from conflicts," Kaberuka emphasized.
The AU Commission Chairperson made it clear that only an African nation would constitute a true, virile and viable African country.
"The only African country we can talk about is the African nation. Our objective is that Africa is going to be a great nation," Mr. Konare stated.
Mr. Konare said African institutions should pool their energies and establish an agenda that would be at the service of the African people.
He said the road to Africa's prosperity and integration should be built on new values of good governance, transparency, accountability, respect for human rights, peace and security, tolerance and the fight against corruption.
"We must take on board the private sector and the civil society. We have to make sure there is gender equity," he said.
Though the OAU made its mark as an instrument for cooperation and solidarity, Konare explained, it was not the right device for fostering continental integration and hence the need for its transformation into the AU.
On his part, Janneh said: "We are coming together at a time when we are seeing very clearly an agenda that Africa is setting itself. The way Africa is dealing with conflict issues.
"We are encouraged with the progress that is taking place to claim Africa's fair share in terms of trade. Africa is moving forward."
The ECA was optimistic that Africa could optimally benefit from the current progress if the people devoted their capacity, knowledge and enthusiasm to the realization of the AU vision.
Janneh said the ECA set up by the UN in 1958 to promote the continent’s development, has to adapt itself to the new African realities.
"The AU is now a credible institution. In the light of that, it is proper that the AU, ECA and ADB accompany the positive developments taking place in Africa.
"I see a seamless relationship between the AU the ECA, and the ADB" Janneh said, adding that "Africa would meet the Millennium Development Goals if we were able to galvanize our efforts".
The three chief executives agreed to have regular meetings, at least once annually, affirming that they would revive their joint secretariat and give it more dynamism so that it could facilitate greater coordination.