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Landmark AfDB Annual Meetings End in Abidjan

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Abidjan, 28 May 2010 - The 45th Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 36th  Meetings of the African Development Fund (ADF) wound up on Friday, 28 May 2010 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, after two days of intense deliberations and landmark decisions, including the approval of a 200% sixth general capital increase for Africa’s premier development finance institution.

Governors representing 53 regional (African) and 24 non-African shareholders also re-elected the Bank Group’s President, Donald Kaberuka, for a second five-year term, and  increased the institution’s number of constituency chairs from 18 to 20.

They also approved the Bank’s 2009 annual report and audited accounts as well as its 2010 work programme.

The governors - usually finance economy ministers or central Bank Governors - also considered and/or approved a number of the institution’s routine activities, programmes, strategies and proposals for implementation by management.

Key among these are the election of executive directors, a review of the host-country’s situation, Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) debt relief, the 2009 Independent Review Mechanism Annual Report as well as the Bank’s 2009 water sector initiatives and activities.

Others include the NEPAD 2009 infrastructure programme, the review of Bank share transfer rules, report on elected officials’ service conditions, distribution of the Bank’s 2009 net incomes, the establishment of a ClimDev special fund, reports and audited special purpose financial statements as well as ADF mid-term review and status of ADF-12 replenishment consultations.

This year, the governors’ sessions were preceded by deliberations of the Coalition for Development on Africa (CoDA), a joint venture of the AfDB, the African Union (AU) Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, and a successor forum to the Global Coalition for Africa, the OECD ‘Big Table’ and the African Development Forum. It is chaired by Botswana’s former President, Festus Moghae, and has Jean Ping, AU Commission Chairperson, Mo Ibrahim, Mo Ibrahim Foundation Chair, Cheikh Diarra, Microsoft Africa Chairman, and Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President as members.

The Annual Meetings also comprised high-level and thematic seminars on the theme: “Africa on the Rebound: Towards Balanced and Clean Growth” as well as the dissemination of the 2010 African Economic Outlook, and launch of “Making Finance Work for Africa” website.

The session was officially opened by Côte d’Ivoire’s President Laurent Gbagbo and attended by Presidents Yayi Boni of Benin, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and former President Festus Mogae of Botswana. Prime Ministers Bernard Makuza of Rwanda and Ricardo Mangue of Equatorial Guinea, along with Ghana’s foreign minister, Muhammad Mumuni, attended the opening ceremony.

In his opening speech, President Gbagbo commended AfDB President Kaberuka and his staff for the important progress the institution had made in recent years. “The African Development Bank has gained respectability. It now mobilizes more resources. We strongly encourage the institution to continue in this direction,” he said.

Earlier, President Kaberuka reviewed the institution’s activities in the past year, noting that the Bank had proven its mettle as well as its franchise value to Africa as a mature institution that knows what to do.

On behalf of staff and management, Mr. Kaberuka thanked the Board for approving the Bank’s sixth general capital increase which has tripled the institution’s resources to some USD100 billion, and for re-electing him for a second five-year term.

The UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary, Abdoulie Janneh, and the African Union Commission Chair, Jean Ping, also commended the Bank’s accomplishments in their respective speeches.

On the Bank return to its statutory headquarters, the governors reaffirmed that the headquarters of the Bank shall remain in Abidjan, but noted that the situation in the country was not conducive enough for an immediate return of the institution to its headquarters; and therefore extended the institution’s Temporary Relocation to Tunis for another 12 months from 3 June 2010. The situation will be reviewed and a decision taken at the 2011 Annual Meetings based on the recommendations of the Governors Consultative Committee.

The Board of Governors approved the holding of the next Bank Group Annual Meetings from 9-10 June 2011 in Lisbon, Portugal.

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