The AfDB's secretary general and Vice President, Cecilia Akintomide, and its chief eonomist, Mthuli Ncube, on Thursday 3 May 2012 jointly hosted a press conference in Tunis on the major agenda items that will be covered during this year's Annual Meetings in Arusha, Tanzania. They took questions from more than 40 journalists present, as well as other members of the media connected from the field offices. The secretary general took questions on Bank Group operations and general information of the annual meetings, while the chief economist concentrated on the high-level seminars, debates and overall knowledge products lined up for Arusha.
In her introductory remarks, Mrs Akintomide said: “These annual general meetings are really about operations. Our institution is about the continent. With 2012 marking the last year of our medium term strategy, Arusha represents for us an opportunity to be most transparent about how far we have fared particularly in our implementation of our sixth AfDB general capital increase and the ADF XII replenishment and to show in concrete terms what would be special about our operations in the years to come.”
As well as reporting the Bank’s operational performance, presenting annual report and audited financial statements for the year that ended on 31 December 2011, the shareholders will also undertake the allocation and distribution of the Group’s net incomes, Mrs Akintomide also emphasized. Other burning items of the agenda, she further revealed, will be the membership of South Sudan and a number of statutory issues.
For his part, Mr Ncube emphasized the importance of the theme of this year’s meetings: “Africa and the emerging global landscape – challenges and opportunities.” He outlined some of the seminars have been anchored to the theme which according to him focus on drivers of change – “human, technological and spatial drivers of change,” he said. Among the seminars are: i) opportunity and challenges of the global financial crisis; ii) greening the economy: opportunity for growth; iii) emerging issues in African economies; iv) good financial governance in Africa : how to graduate from aid.
A debate on “Africa transforming Africa” is slated to bring together private sector chief executive officers, women in business, while a major side event will be: “African banker and leadership awards.”
Answering a closing question from a journalist from Tanzania TV, Mrs Akintomide ended the press conference with this message to the audience in Tanzania : “The AfDB had previously been to some East African countries including Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, but this is the first time we are going to Tanzania. The meetings therefore offer Tanzania the opportunity to showcase its development efforts and its evolution, cultural heritage, its tourism and business environment. We will bring over 2000 people to Arusha. It is big business for the government and the people of Tanzania . For five day,s the world's attention will focused on Tanzania. The government and people of Tanzania have a great opportunity to make the most of the meetings.”