AfDB holds Long Term Strategy Consultation Meeting in Sudan

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On 28 March 2012, the African Development Bank held a national consultation meeting on the Bank’s Long Term Strategy (LTS) for 2013 yo 22, which is currently being formulated, in Khartoum, Sudan. The meeting is part of a broader outreach through a series of regional and national level consultations that the Bank is holding to solicit inputs into its LTS. The objective of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for stakeholders in Sudan to contribute to the development of the Bank’s LTS which will guide its operations and strategic engagement in Africa over the next decade.

The meeting was officially opened by Sudan’s state minister in the ministry of finance and national economy, Magdi H. Yassin. The Bank was represented by the Resident Representative for Sudan, Mr Abdul B. Kamara and Sudan field office staff.

In his opening remarks, the minister alluded to the consultation as a commendable phenomenon, and welcomed it as a unique opportunity which diverse stakeholders in Sudan should seize to influence and improve the quality of the service that the Bank provides. “Today we are witnessing a new dawn, the beginning of great expectations for Sudan; that global organizations such as the African Development Bank consults with communities in Sudan on how we can collaboratively and advance the social and economic development of our country,” he stated.

The minister reiterated warm appreciation of the Bank’s enhanced engagement with his country, at a time of austere macroeconomic difficulties and unparalleled political challenges. He concluded by praising the Bank’s unique ability to maintain targeted economic sector support, capacity building, and analytical work especially in the areas of arrears and debt technical support to the ongoing Sudan–South Sudan post-secession negotiations. Other key participants at the meeting included government officials from various ministries, representatives from NGOs, the private sector, academics and civil society.

Among key comments were (i) The LTS should create an opportunity for the Bank to interact more directly with civil society (and not only through governments). For instance, separate LTS consultations sessions for civil society and NGOs, separately from government would have given further/different perspectives, (ii) The Bank should make a deliberate effort to forge partnerships with institutions on the peripheries, e.g. targeting infrastructure projects in neglected rural areas will stimulate development in those areas, (iii) the Bank should strengthen its niche in reinforcing public-private partnership,( iv) the LTS should come up with concrete plans on how to engage with young people and women,(v) the Bank’s ‘knowledge role’ needs to be strengthened with targeted direct support to national and regional think-tanks, (vi) the LTS should forge a mechanism to ensure that private sector lending continues even for countries under sanctions, etc. These insights and recommendations will serve as key input for the Bank’s LTS 2013-2022.

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