The Bank Group Releases 2007 African Development Report

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The Bank Group Releases 2007 African Development Report

The African Development Bank Group has released its 2007 African Development Report in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Released within the framework of the African Economic Conference taking place from November 15-17, the report highlights that increased interest in the continent’s resources is largely driven by global economic growth, especially in Asia, and related demand for fossil fuels and minerals. This situation, the report continues, raises questions on how the continent can best leverage its resources for its own development given the complexities and trade-offs.

"The market demand for Africa’s natural resources is strong and growing, but Africa needs these resources too for its own development," the report says. 

The report clearly sets the stage for a more proactive stakeholder engagement in the effective management of Africa’s natural resource wealth.

"Indeed collaborative efforts between key stakeholders – governments, companies, civil society organizations and local communities – are needed to ensure that Africa’s natural resource wealth translates into broad-based socio-economic development, taking into account the lessons and impact of past experiences of commodity booms and busts," the report stresses.

The report underscores the crucial need for synergies to be created and strengthened between the public, the private sector, the civil society and external development partners. It calls for initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Kimberly Process and the African Peer Review Mechanism to be strengthened and strongly supported.

In collaboration with other stakeholders and development partners, the African Development Bank Group is scaling up financial assistance for governance and institutional reforms in the natural resources sector. It is providing technical assistance, capacity building, knowledge and advisory services for appropriate fiscal systems and regulatory institutions. The Bank Group is planning to do more in this regard with a view to helping end the so-called natural resource curse on the continent, the report emphasizes. 

The 2007 African Development Report sets the stage for a re-thinking of the role of natural resources in economic development and poverty reduction in Africa. It articulates the crucial issues behind this relatively untapped potential and offers a rich discussion on ways to reverse current trends.

The publication of the report during the African Economic Conference, which serves as a platform for researchers, economists and policymakers to share their experiences and research findings, underscores the Bank Group’s determination to encourage economic specialists working on African development issues to generate and disseminate knowledge that will help the continent overcome its development challenges.

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