The African Development Bank (AfDB) embarked on a consultation exercise across Africa on its proposed Integrated Safeguards System (ISS). The Bank consulted governments, representatives of civil society, the private sector and academic/research institutions.
Five regional consultation sessions were carried out across the African continent. The first session was held in Nairobi between April 11 and 13, 2012, covering the East Africa region. The second consultation covering the Southern Africa region was held between April 18 and 20 in Lusaka, Zambia. The Bank also organized two other sessions for Central Africa in Libreville, Gabon, and West Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, respectively, on May 9 to 11 and May 15 to 17. The regional consultation process was concluded in Rabat, Morocco, between June 12 and 14, 2012.
The AfDB’s revision and improvement of its environmental and social safeguards policies and procedures will ensure the sustainability of its interventions for the economic and social development of Africans. The proposed Operational Safeguards (OS) have already benefitted from extensive internal consultations with AfDB staff.
In addition to these regional consultations, the AfDB has also consulted with its international partners and other multilateral finance institutions. Preliminary drafts of the ISS were presented to key international organizations, such as the Bank Information Center in the USA, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Conservation International, the International Trade Union Commission and the World Bank. The comments and suggestions from those institutions were incorporated in the draft, which was submitted to AfDB Board and management and subsequently disclosed. According to those organizations, the AfDB is building a world-class safeguards system, which has dealt with emerging issues such as mainstreaming of mitigation and adaptation to climate.
Given its mandate related to Africa’s sustainable development, the AfDB needs to account for ecological implications and their impacts on social conditions and livelihoods of populations. For this reason, the AfDB has paid particular attention to transparent and inclusive preparation, as well as coordinated implementation of the revision of the safeguards policies and procedures.
The views from the consultations were integrated into a revised version of the ISS, which will be disclosed before presentation to the Board during the fourth quarter of 2012.