AfDB Dialogues with NGOs
The AfDB is an institution whose objective is to foster economic development in Africa. It bases its actions on ownership, accountability and transparency," Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, said in his opening remarks during a meeting with NGOs on October 14, 2008, at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the sidelines of the World Bank Annual Meetings that took place in Washington, D.C. The meeting made it possible for the Bank Group to exchange perspectives with NGOs on issues of strategic interest to its operations. Mr. Kaberuka used the occasion to review the institution’s methods of operations. He explained the institution’s strategic priorities, especially infrastructure development, private sector development and regional integration, as well as environmental protection and gender. He focused on rural development and the impact of Bank Group operations on the lives of small-scale farmers and rural populations through the facilitation of access to drinking water, sanitation and electricity. He later called for a strengthening of partnerships in the fight against poverty and the promotion of shared growth. Mr. Kaberuka explained to the NGOs that the ultimate goal of Bank operations was to improve living conditions for the people and the eradication of poverty. He underscored the necessity for beneficiaries to own Bank-financed operations. He pointed out that the concept of governance must not only be limited to governments as it has always been the case. Governance, he said, was everybody’s business, including countries and stakeholders. That, he said, was a sign of greater transparency in the management of development operations. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Woodrow Wilson Center, John Hopkins SAIS, Greenpeace, Trans-Africa Forum, Center for Global Development, Africa Action, Bank Information Center, and the US Treasury Department. The event was also attended by the AfDB Executive Director for the United States, Mimi Alemayehou, and Senior Adviser, Graham Stegman.