AfDB President Donald Kaberuka says the impact on African economies of rising oil prices should get more attention
Washington, September 25, 2005 - The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Donald Kaberuka, is urging the global development community to pay more attention to the impact on African economies of rising oil prices which, he says, threaten to roll back progress already achieved.
He told a press conference in Washington D.C. where he is attending the General Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank that unless something was done to help countries in the region in the short term, some would see their ability to make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seriously compromised.
Mr. Kaberuka spoke of the need to assist countries deal with the short-term effects of the price increases and said he would like to see the AfDB, the IMF and the World Bank work with other donors to accelerate work on facilities to help deal with the shock effects while adjusting to the longer term structural shift in the market, given the fact prices were likely to stay above 2005 levels.
The AfDB President reviewed current developments in Africa and said this was a time of great opportunity in the region. "There is encouraging news coming out of Africa and the international community is making commitments which should now be delivered upon," he told his audience, as he called on the donor community and African governments alike to deliver on the pact of mutual accountability. He stressed the fact that such development will only happen on three conditions: if the international community delivers on the commitments of Gleneagles and the Commission for Africa, if the Hong Kong Doha round on trade actually works, and if African governments continue to make progress on issues of governance, economic management and capacity building.
Responding to a question on the state of infrastructure in Africa, Mr. Kaberuka announced the imminent establishment of an African Infrastructure Consortium which, he said, would be fully operational in the coming months. He said the AfDB will play a greater role in the the coming years in matters of infrastructure.
After meeting earlier with US Treasury Secretary John Snow, the Bank President spoke of the need for international institutions to review their development agendas for areas of overlap and to seek greater complementarity in their work. "It is important," he said, "to determine who does what and who should be doing what on issues of poverty reduction, macroeconomic analysis, financial surveillance, infrastructure, etc."
He said that in efforts to improve on its results, a determination of the AfDB's comparative advantage will be fast-tracked.
The two men talked about the importance of a greater role for the AfDB and reforms that were needed to increase its effectiveness, fighting corruption in Bank-funded operations, engaging with the private sector and providing support to small business, and helping countries in Africa establish an environment conducive to business.