CSOs urged to hold AfDB accountable

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A two-day meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB)-Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Committee came to a close on Thursday, January 15 with both partners agreeing to identify implementable actions necessary to fulfill the mandate and prepare a charter that will provide details of the nature of the collaboration, including responsibilities.

Both steps are expected to revitalize the efforts to strengthen the collaboration for improved development outcomes. “This is our Bank. We need to build trust and capitalise on it to enhance a stronger relationship that will deliver development for the benefit of the people of Africa,” said Mamadou Goita, Chair of the Civil Society Coalition.

Part of building that trust includes increasing engagement and access to relevant and timely information to all of the Bank’s stakeholders which comprises CSOs among others. This information will help CSOs to demand accountability from the Bank, according to Mike Salawou, Coordinator of the Bank’s Disclosure and Access to Information policy. “The result will be enhanced credibility and alignment with international best practices, making the Bank more effective,” he observed.

In the course of the two-day meeting in the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters, the Committee reviewed a range of opportunities for improving the way CSOs engage with the Bank. The discussions were grounded in several case studies to reflect upon the key issues as well as discuss possible solutions.

Rakesh Nangia, Chair of the AfDB-CSO Committee and the Evaluator General of the Bank’s Independent Development Evaluation, reiterated the mandate of the Committee, which he said was to provide strategic guidance for the implementation of the CSO framework. He stressed that CSOs are an integral part of the multi-stakeholder dialogue and continuous engagement will help strengthen development outcomes. The Framework for Enhanced Engagement with Civil Society Organisations supports implementation of the Bank’s Ten Year (2013-2022) Strategy

The event attracted regional civil society heads and representatives of key sectors within the Bank. The next meeting will be held in February 2015.

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