The African Development Bank (AfDB) is increasing the level of transparency over its operational actions and policies and sector strategies.
The decision was taken by the AfDB’s Board of Directors on 2 May 2012, which approved the AfDB’s revised policy on disclosure and access to information. The Board recognized that more transparency and accountability were essential to the AfDB’s effectiveness in delivering its developmental mandate.
The change also forms part of the AfDB’s institutional reform agenda, and the decision was taken after extensive consultation with external stakeholders. Those stakeholders included the AfDB’s African or regional member countries and representatives from the private sector and civil society.
It was also one of the core undertakings from the negotiations for the AfDB’s sixth general capital increase (GCI-VI) and the eleventh replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-11), which involved talks on the reform of the Bank’s disclosure policy.
Essentially, the new policy is one of a presumption of disclosure, rather than one of exceptional disclosure. One of the major features will be that, for the first time, the AfDB will release audited project accounts of borrowers involved in AfDB-financed sovereign projects
AfDB president Donald Kaberuka remarked on the importance of the revision, noting that it was a positive outcome of extensive and transparent discussion inside and outside the AfDB.
He said: “The revised policy on disclosure and access to information has clarified the role of the Office of the Vice President and Secretary General, the Regional Resource Centers and the Field Offices.”
Among the outcomes of the revised policy, according to members of the Board, will be the promotion of good governance, transparency and accountability. There would be greater visibility of the AfDB’s mission, strategies and activities to its stakeholders. This would support the AfDB’s consultative process in its activities and enhance stakeholder participation in the implementation of AfDB-financed projects.
Following approval and before the coming into effect of the Policy, Management will adopt an Implementation Plan, to immediately start putting in place administrative and operational measures necessary for the successful implementation of the revised policy. This Policy will therefore come into effect, nine (9) months after approval by the Board of Directors.