New AfDB Report Stresses Good Governance as way to Fight African Poverty

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  • AGO Report will be finalized and published by end 1st quarter of 2012

Promoting good governance as a key element in the fight against poverty in Africa was the main subject of the African Governance Outlook (AGO) presented by the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on 7 June, in Lisbon, Portugal, the venue of the Group’s 2011 Annual Meetings.

The new report makes it clear that “good governance is crucial for inclusive and sustained economic growth” and to “enhance Africa’s voice” on governance.  It refutes any notion of Afro-pessimism, considering that significant progress has occurred despite not being homogeneous.

Dr. Kamal Elkeshen, Vice President, Sector Operations at AfDB the presented the Bank’s new flagship publication, and stressed the assessment of governance baselines, trends and prospects for the African continent.

AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Dr. Mthuli Ncube, said that the implementation of the AGO initiative will be closely followed by regional member countries, governments and different partnerships.

“There are important challenges to implement this initiative”, he said.

The initiative will be initially carried out on a test basis phase in ten African countries and later extended to more countries.

Dr Frannie Léautier, Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) underlined the assessment and validation process and need for reliable data.

She said that some countries are having difficulties in collecting new data, due to fragile administrations and in validating difficulty existing data.

“But, how do we go from national reports to action?” she asked, underlining the problems faced in the future in the governance accountability area.

The AGO implementation lessons to be learned were also stressed by other panellists, including the ACBF’s Grace Kaimila-Kanjo.

“AGO provides opportunities to rethink existing indicator sets”, said Mr Isaac Lobe, Director Governance, Economic and Financial Reforms Department at the AfDB.

Finally, AfDB’s Vice President, Country and Regional Program Policy, Mr Aloysius Ordu, defended the need for solid administrations in order to pursue the governance initiative.

He said that the “AfDB footprints in Governance are already strong” and that the Bank always seeks a deeper knowledge in issues of Governance.

“AGO is an incredible opportunity for the AfBD”, he added, saying that the initiative was promoting greater awareness.

“We are going to revamp policies, particularly in governance”, he concluded.

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