‘Africa and the new global landscape’: AfDB announces theme and agenda for 2015 Annual Meetings
The 2015 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank will explore the theme of ‘Africa and the new global landscape’, with special focus on Africa’s approach to three critical global developments in 2015.
These are the international conference on Financing for Development, to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2015; the UN conference on Sustainable Development Goals set for September 2015 in New York; and the UN Climate Change conference (COP21) to be held in Paris, in December 2015.
The Annual Meetings – the first since the Bank returned to its Headquarters in Abidjan in 2014 – will also see the election of a new President for the Bank, the marking of its 50th anniversary, and the welcoming of South Sudan as its 80th member.
On Wednesday, May 6, African Development Bank Vice-President and Secretary General Cecilia Akintomide and Acting Vice-President and Chief Economist Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa held a press conference to set the scene for the Bank’s 50th Annual Meetings, which will take place from May 25 to 29, 2015 in Abidjan.
“The Bank’s Annual Meetings bring together its shareholders, and a host of other stakeholders in its work, both African and international. They review the performance of both the Bank and the continent, and agree to plans, positions and priorities going forward”, said Akintomide
“And this year has added significance in that on May 28, the Board of Governors will be focused on electing one of eight candidates as the next President of the AfDB,” she said.
“Meanwhile South Sudan will attend as the 80th member of the Bank, having completed the process on April 30.”
The Bank’s marking of its 50th anniversary was scheduled to be held last year, but was postponed in light of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. “We took a decision to focus our time and resources to support these countries in combating Ebola,” said Akintomide.
Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa stressed that the three big 2015 conferences will bear heavily on the future of Africa. “Africa plays a key role in each of these events,” he said. “Its voice will be heard, and we will strengthen that voice in Abidjan.”
Kayizzi-Mugerwa confirmed that the Annual Meetings will include a series of high-level seminars, a Financial Presentation on the Bank’s performance, and the launch of some of the Bank’s flagship publications, including the Africa Economic Outlook 2015, the Bank’s Annual Report, and its Annual Development Effectiveness Review. Some 30 events are planned over the course of the week, with approximately 2,500 people expected to attend the meetings.
Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from the Bank’s 54 regional member countries and 26 non-regional member countries are expected to attend the meetings. Other attendees will be representatives of multilateral finance institutions, development agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, media, and civil society.
The Government of Côte d’Ivoire was represented by Lacina Kouame Kouakou, who spoke on behalf of the Ivorian Minister for Planning and Development. “Côte d’Ivoire is happy with the return of the Bank to Cote d’Ivoire, and we are pleased to be partnering with it in ensuring the success of the Annual Meetings” he said.
“I want to underscore our commitment that we will do all that is possible to support our Bank,” he added.