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The African Development Bank’s Senior Management Coordinating Committee (SMCC) recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bank and UN Women.
The partnership was formalised alongside the 60th Anniversary of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) on March 14, 2016 at the UN Women headquarters in New York. During the MoU signing ceremony, AfDB and UN Women were represented by the AfDB Vice-President and Special Envoy on Gender, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. The partnership seeks to strengthen the capacity of the two institutions, drawing on their expertise, competency, and complementarity.
The MoU formalisation follows the Second Consultative Meeting between the Bank and UN Women, held on March 3-4, 2016 at AfDB’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The aim of the meeting was to develop: (i) two to three implementable action plans under each of the Bank’s five key priority areas (High 5s), (ii) a detailed work plan 2016-2018 for joint projects by selected countries and sectors, and (iii) operational modalities which include formation of a steering committee to monitor and follow-up on the joint work plan. A wide range of issues was discussed over the two days, including how to achieve the meeting’s intended objectives.
The MoU covers three thematic areas: Technical Gender Expertise Support to African States. This assistance will be in developing, implementing, and evaluating poverty assessments and poverty reduction strategies, methodologies, programs, household surveys and reports. Gender Mainstreaming of the Core Business of the African Development Bank, which includes scaling up of gender equality and women’s empowerment principles in policy formulation, programing, and operations management. Gender, Research and Statistics to advance knowledge management on gender equality and women empowerment. This will include delivery of gender and statistics training activities for processes leading to workshops like: (i) development and finalisation of workshop modules and (ii) identification and contracting of trainer(s) to conduct the workshops. This area of collaboration will incorporate the development of joint Gender Equality knowledge products such as internal briefs on Gender Equality, and Women Empowerment.
While the AfDB aligns the three pillars of its 2014-2018 Gender Strategy to the High 5s, the aim is to ensure that a sharp focus will be placed on gender accountability, and a gender lens will be applied in all projects and operations. The MoU will also strengthen the AfDB’s commitment to achieving gender equality on the continent.