Statement to the Rio+20 High Level Round Table by the AfDB President Donald Kaberuka

20/06/2012
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Event: High Level Round Table on “Looking at the way forward in implementing the expected outcomes of the Conference”

Twenty years ago, a bold vision was spelt out and a clear road map agreed upon. Today, 20 years after, at a time of global economic stress, that agenda is now even more urgent than ever. And none have a bigger stake than the low income countries.

The past 10 years have been remarkable for Africa: strong economic growth and significant improvement in human development indicators. Africa today is the second fastest growing continent. Needless to say, the journey remains long in making a lasting dent on poverty. You will understand, therefore, why Africa’s expectations in the summit are quite high.

At a time of serious global economic crises, which threatens the sustainability of Africa’s recent economic achievements, the focus of this conference on the triple agenda of economic, social, and ecological sustainability is central to our continent’s future development trajectory. For Africa and low income countries of the world, whose essential livelihood depends on nature, poverty and environment are two sides of the same coin.

Going forward, we would like to see greater progress on key areas important for many of us, such as greater clarity on “common but differentiated responsibilities”. I need not emphasize how important it is to see movement on a climate deal and climate finance at the UNFCCC.

We look forward to the articulation of the post-2015 development landscape. However, we should not forget that we still have 30 months to the MDG target of 2015. Some key goals are still within reach.
For its part, the African Development Bank, within its mandate and in the light of the outcome of this summit, will continue and deepen its role as financier, partner and advisor to African countries in fostering inclusive development which provides hope and opportunities for its people, and in particular, its youths.

We will focus on sustainable energy solutions and infrastructure, food security, building resilience, national inclusive green growth and climate adaptation plans, as well as valuation of natural capital.

We will give special attention to the issue of optimal and sound management of natural resources to ensure they are deployed in a transformational nature that builds sustainability for current and future generations.

At a time when the global economy needs growth, our collective determination to implement all aspects of the Rio Conventions and other commitments on sustainable development will be decisive. In that context, the African Development Bank remains a strong and reliable partner.

Thank you.