AfDB Participates in World Economic Forum 2007
The Bank last week participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The forum brought together many global economic and political leaders and focused on issues such as increased competition over access to oil and natural gas, climate change, the fight against terrorism, globalization, trade and Africa.
Representing the Bank, President Donald Kaberuka, participated in a brainstorming session on the Global Health Initiative that sought ways to mobilize private businesses in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The meeting, which was designed for chief executives and leaders of multilateral institutions, also discussed last year’s successes and priorities for 2007.
He moderated a luncheon on African agriculture which examined how new technologies and well-targeted investments could revolutionize African agriculture. The session also focused on Africa’s capacity to compete with global producers in a globalizing and competitive marketplace.
He also participated in a forum on alleviating energy poverty in developing countries, particularly in Africa where millions are in dire need of energy. Some of the questions at the center of the discussion were: what methods should be used to provide affordable, replicable and sustainable energy? What are the prospects of such methods in rural areas? And what are available financing mechanisms that can bring about unconventional electrification solutions?
Besides the luncheon, Mr. Kaberuka was also a discussion leader in a roundtable on anti-corruption, the centerpiece of the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) that came out of Davos in 2004. The initiative places the private sector in a unique position to guide governments and international organizations on strategies and policies to fight corruption globally. The debate sought to bring about a good working relationship between public and private sectors, strengthen law enforcement, and obtain practical guidance from key players in the private sector.
He was also a panelist in a plenary session entitled "Africa: Delivering Our Promises", which examined the state of progress on the unprecedented promises of aid and debt relief to Africa, on one hand, and African governments’ commitments to new standards of governance, on the other. Discussions also focused on concrete steps that could result in maintaining the momentum on the continent were also discussed.
The forum is an annual event that seeks to find solutions to global issues and it offered Mr. Kaberuka the opportunity to meet with British prime minister, Tony Blair, the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, and Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, where they discussed events on the continent.