The 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will be held on May 21-25, 2018 in Busan, Korea. Find out more
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is inviting comments from stakeholders on its forthcoming Long Term Strategy (LTS). Your insights and recommendations are valuable to the AfDB and will be a critical input to the final LTS.
The AfDB’s work is currently guided by its Medium Term Strategy covering the period from 2008 to 2012. The Bank is now preparing a 10-year LTS that will cover the period from 2013 to 2022. The LTS builds on the ambitious vision for Africa and the Bank, put forward in the 2007 High Level Panel Report. As highlighted below, the LTS comes at a time of profound change for Africa and the AfDB. The LTS will take account of the key opportunities and challenges that will drive Africa’s development over the coming decade. It will capture Africa’s development ambitions and what Africans need to do to achieve them. It will also set out how the AfDB will support Africa’s transformation into a continent that is more prosperous, with markedly lower poverty levels and a more equitable distribution of economic and social opportunities including jobs and income.
The AfDB is currently consulting with a broad range of stakeholders on its LTS. This includes internal consultations with staff and the AfDBs Board of Directors. It also includes a series of sub-regional consultation meetings across and outside the continent with representatives of government, the private sector, civil society, academia, etc. A dialogue on the LTS with the AfDB Governors was held during the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Arusha, Tanzania in May. The final LTS is being prepared and it will be adopted before the end of 2012.
We are seeking your inputs, in particular on the questions framed below.
There are a number of core drivers of change, internal and external that will play a critical role in defining Africa’s future. These include: population growth, rapid urbanisation and rising youth unemployment; increasing disparities in poverty levels in and between regional member countries; strong global demand for energy, mineral and agricultural commodities; emerging South-South trade and investment; evolving political and economic governance; climate change and opportunities for green growth; the deployment of ICT across the continent; and the challenges in mobilising resources in an increasingly tight international fiscal environment. Each of these drivers presents both opportunities and challenges.
What are the main factors that will drive economic and social change in your region? What needs to be done to ensure that Africa seizes the related opportunities effectively?
Strong, sustained growth will be a prerequisite for realising Africa’s potential. It must be private sector and civil society led. However, growth alone will not be sufficient, nor will it necessarily result in deep cuts to poverty levels and reduction of inequalities unless growth is broad-based and inclusive.
Africa will continue to be impacted by global warming, and there are growing calls for the “greening” of African growth. There is an opportunity to embark on a low-carbon growth path, but it will require resources and appropriate policies. Good governance, transparent and accountable institutions, sound management of public finances, and human capital development – particularly education and training - are pre-requisites for sustained development and inclusive growth. This will require leadership committed to development in African countries and in regional and continental institutions.
What policies and approaches will be most conducive to inclusive growth? How should Africa address green growth and climate change– both adaptation and mitigation? What measures should be taken to cultivate a culture of higher performance, greater efficiency and transparency in political and economic governance?
Historically, the Bank has primarily been a conduit for development capital flows to both public and private sector clients. However, knowledge, innovation, and advice will likely be as important as lending going forward. The Bank can act as a knowledge broker that connects clients to relevant knowledge, provides guidance and identifies and helps to disseminate best practices.
Given the myriad of challenges facing Africa and limited resources, the Bank must maintain focus and prioritize. The Bank should partner with others to ensure that key challenges are met, and that Africa obtains maximum benefit. In this regard, the Bank should place a greater premium on developing more effective partnerships with clients, regional communities and African and international knowledge centers. These partnerships will become a significant tool for the Bank’s engagement in planning, financing and implementing its operations.
Africa remains a diverse continent and African countries will follow different development trajectories. The Bank will need to be flexible and responsive to its clients by providing tailored approaches while remaining selective and focusing on its areas of relative strength. The private sector and civil society are key partners. Growth must be private sector-led and will need to be driven by entrepreneurship and innovation. The Bank can play a positive role by fostering public-private partnerships, spurring the creation of new businesses and the growth of global African companies, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship that will generate employment.
What are the highest priority needs that the AfDB must meet? What changes, if any, do you want to see in the way the AfDB operates, in its lending programs and in its approaches? What do you see as the comparative advantages of the AfDB? What strategic partnerships will be most important, and for what purposes? What directions do you envisage for the Bank’s relations with the private sector, and how can it best promote African entrepreneurship and innovation? How can it best foster the sharing of knowledge across the continent?
In order to remain relevant to its member countries and help Africa realize its aspirations, the Bank will need to continue to evolve and adapt. Organisational effectiveness and efficiency must continue to improve. The Bank’s resources will remain comparatively small relative to Africa’s financing needs. The Bank will therefore need to leverage its resources more and increasingly act as a catalyst to bring larger volumes of both public and private sector resources. Leveraging resources, for example, could happen by creating greater synergies between the Bank’s concessional and non-concessional lending windows or through the issuance of diaspora bonds, infrastructure bonds and re-current expenditure bonds.
How can the Bank best leverage its financial resources? Should more of the Bank’s resources be dedicated to regional and multinational projects? How should the Bank organise itself to best partner with the private sector?
Mthuli Ncube, AfDB Chief Economist and Vice President
Medium - Term Strategy 2008 - 2012 (778 kB)