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African Development Bank Poised for Major Reforms: President announces important change agenda


Tunis, 24 October 2005 – The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB) Mr. Donald Kaberuka has announced a major reform agenda geared at bringing about a more effective, responsive development institution able to galvanize the new International agenda for Africa on trade, debt, ODA and the emerging positive development on the continent.

Addressing his first meeting with the full staff body since assuming office on September 1, 2005, he indicated reforms to deepen internal governance, consolidate financial soundness and greater operational effectiveness. He spoke of the urgent need to reform the highly centralized, rigid body to a more agile, decentralized country- focused institution playing a key role on the African challenges in the field.

He spoke of more selectivity in Bank operations, a marked improvement in portfolio quality and greater senior staff presence in the field.

Mr. Kaberuka stressed the need for a new and forward looking Human Resources strategy that addresses the problems of internal governance, gender imbalance and other diversity issues. He indicated the Bank will adjust its structures to be able to respond more effectively to the mandate which has been given by the International Community to the Institution.

The Bank currently manages the African Water Facility, the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility and has recently been selected by donors to house the Secretariat of the Africa Infrastructure Consortium.

He announced the establishment of a "change management task force" under the supervision of Vice-President for Finance Mr. Thierry de Longuemar and newly appointed Director, Chief of staff of the office of the President, Mr. Henock Kifle (Formerly Chief Economist).

He also announced the imminent departure on retirement of several senior officials whom he thanked for distinguished services to the institution.

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