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AfDB to Play Central Role in the Implementation of Blair’s Commission Report


Mr. Michel Camdessus and Sir Nicolas Stern, respectively Commissioner and Policy and Research Director at the Secretariat of the Commission for Africa, presented the French version of the final Report of the Commission to ADB staff in Tunis on Friday 27 May, 2005.

The presentation was attended by a large segment of staff and managers from all departments.

According to Mr. Camdessus, the publication is not just another report, but one that seeks to "bring the international community to see the full dynamic of things in Africa". The report, commissioned by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, "portrays as much as possible a precise and balanced assessment adapted to the current situation of things. We seek to convince and not to surprise", he explained.

  • AfDB Vice-President  El-Bakri (Operations North, East & South)

In her speech opening the working session, VP El-Bakri, explained that "the issue for us is to know what to make out of the report and how to put it to use" within the perspective of upcoming summit meetings. "We will have to hold more meetings to consider not only the challenges but also the gains we have made."

  • Sir Stern:
    • "The Crisis of world poverty is in Africa; the big challenge is Africa".
    • "The underlying causes of the profound crisis in Africa are to be found in governance and geography and in between these two poles, there is a lot of history".
    • "Political borders can easily become economic barriers"
    • "NEPAD is a concrete manifestation of positive change in governance in Africa"
    • Of importance is the nature of partnership, especially the spirit and manner in which Africa’s partners will play their role, especially through the Harmonisation of the various initiatives. The report emphasized the role that the ADB should play in the mobilization of a critical mass of actors.
    • "We will find out come July whether the international development community is serious about trade reform, about meeting the MDGs and about helping Africa to resolve the problems identified in this report."
  • Mr. Camdessus:
    • "Now is the time to support Africa. We have had the opportunity to highlight the progress it has achieved; otherwise we would be guilty not to have done so. This opportunity is also a challenge".
    • "Africa is changing and the G8 has to change to be relevant"
    • "This is the right moment; it’s an opportunity and a challenge"
    • "Partnership is the way forward in the process"
    • "Action will be centered on the realization of the Millennium Goals"
    • "The ADB is the key instrument of this strategy, the point of anchorage of the effort to speed up development of the continent (through its capacity for initiative, counsel, analysis and implementation)"
    • "We should have confidence in ourselves. We should give ourselves mutual benefit of doubt: You will encounter as much trouble getting rid of the corrupt as we will with corrupters!"

Some figures

  • 7% annual growth is the rate considered reasonable by the report;
  • Double the growth rate in 10 years;
  • The G8 can afford to invest 10 billion dollars on infrastructure per annum.

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