AfDB: Building More Effective Partnerships

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Writting by Felix Njoku

The AfDB Partnership Forum 2010 got underway on Wednesday 24 March 2010 in Tunis, with a strong emphasis on the need to improve dialogue and cooperation in support of Africa’s development.

Addressing the opening session, AfDB Regional Operations and Policy Vice President, Aloysius Ordu, briefed the partners representing 71 countries and institutions on the Banks activities.

He said the Bank’s current resource mobilisation and partnership-building efforts were well aligned with its core mandates that include infrastructure, governance, private sector development, and higher education.  These, he said, were also in line with the institution’s 2008-20102 medium-term strategy which directs it to “build more effective partnerships based on clearer and more specific agreements to deliver well-articulated results.”  In addition, the Bank was paying particular attention to regional integration, fragile states, middle-income countries agriculture, gender, climate change and knowledge management.

Mr. Ordu said the Bank Group had to innovate to serve the dire needs of some of its 53 regional member countries in the face of the global financial crisis since by frontloading resources and as such, would require greater support from its partners to be able to meet the growing needs of the client countries

He singled out knowledge management as one area where greater support from partners would be required to enable the Bank provides critical technical support to the regional member counties.

The opening session was followed by presentations on the Bank Group’s Mid-Term Strategy and budgeting by Operations and Policies Department Director, Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, and Athanasius Coker of the Strategy and Budget department, respectively. Both presentations clearly demonstrated the institution’s achievements, policies and responses to the food, fuel and financial crisis that have affected many African countries since 2008.

The Partnerships and Cooperation Unit Head, Kazumi Larhed, updated participants on the Bank’s key achievements  and priorities for 2010-2012.  Ms Larhed presented the new directions of the institution’s 2010-2012 Partnerships and Cooperation Strategy, progress and results, resources gaps related to Trust Funds as well as co-financing and cooperation opportunities for the period. She advocated enhanced dialogue and deeper cooperation with the partners.

These were followed by questions and answers, other presentations and break-out sessions on a wide-range of subjects covering the Bank’s operations areas and activities.

Participants also explored cooperation opportunities in trade, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), agriculture, climate change, gender and social protection, water and sanitation, governance, fragile states, and knowledge management, among others.

The AfDB Partnership Forum which continues is held in March every year to forge concrete collaboration with the Bank group’s increasingly diversified partners.

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