This is Africa’s Hour
A blog by Donald Kaberuka, former AfDB President, 2005-2015
'The sleeping giant' is on its way, and the African trajectory continues upward, with a young and dynamic population. In this occasional blog, I try and share some of the thoughts along the journey – my own, the Bank’s, the continent’s. Read More
50 Africa leaders convene in Washington for a historic meeting with President Obama this week. Pedestrians and motorists caught up in the inevitable traffic jams around the White House may well be asking how far they have got, and where they are heading.
‘C’est le temps de l’Afrique’, said Nizar Baraka, Minister of Finance in the Kingdom of Morocco, and the outgoing chair of the African Development Bank’s Board of Governors. ‘This is Africa’s hour.’
AfDB's Annual Meetings - The Afro-optimist, the Afro-realist: Historic Progress, Historic Challenges
The 48th Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank – and the 39th of the African Development Fund – were officially launched under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco this morning. The King himself may only have been able to send us a message – we are “a solid, reliable and strategic ally”, he said – but he sent hundreds of his subjects. And, with hundreds more from each of the Bank’s 77 member countries, there must have been 1,500 people in the audience as I looked out and squinted under the lights at the podium.
Discussions continue throughout the night at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Marrakesh: some may be had around the dinner table, but most are round the desk. Keyboards are pounded, while mobile phones reverberate. I stopped working on my opening ceremony speech at just before 3 o’clock this morning, and had been on the phone to at least five of my staff in the hours after midnight.
These are my eighth African Development Bank’s Annual General Meetings as President, and I remain convinced that they are a convening place for the very best of this continent, and its friends from further afield. The public sector, the private sector and civil society meets here, and the fourth estate – the press – are here in force to hold us to account. This is the great event not just in the Bank’s but in Africa’s calendar, when all the work we do on the ground in our member countries – finding and funding projects which transform the lives of Africans – gets its rightful place in the sun. We share ideas of what the Bank and Africa have done well, and more importantly what they can still do better. Driving from Casablanca to Marrakesh last night, I was more than conscious of both. My senior management were with me for what turned out to be a lively dinner: we are passionate with plans.