A coalition of African civil society organisations (CSO’s) has bemoaned the lack of engagement between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Civil Society.
According to them, even though the AfDB had many policies tailored to assisting CSO’s, their implementation has been poor over the years.
They have thus urged the bank to build the capacity of its staff to ensure the effective execution of its mandate.
The CSO’s made the call at a capacity building and strategic workshop for accountability, climate change and energy transition in Accra on Monday.
The two-day workshop was organised on the sidelines of the AfDB’s 2022 Annual Meetings being held in Accra from May 23 to 27, 2022.
The Executive Director of Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement (LSD), Mr. Aly Sagne said civil society groups had challenges accessing information from the Afdb, mostly at the country level.
He said the Bank often failed to consult local communities and consider rights and priorities, when undertaking projects, adding that the normal late response by the bank to address such concerns was unacceptable.
“In reality, things are often very difficult on the ground and we feel that the African Development Bank does not respect the society.
“Bank staff do not have a full understanding of the banking policy, so the bank should also train its staff to better understand their policies and ensure that their policies are really implemented at each country’s level and to respond to CSOs’ requests,” he said.
Senior Policy Associate of the Accountability Counsel, Ms Stephanie Amoako indicated that her outfit has been engaging the African Development Bank for several years to ensure a strong policy framework for communities and to determine the impact of their projects.
“Our goal is to ensure that they can raise their concerns to the bank, have them addressed and the bank can also take lessons from these projects and prevent future occurrence, ” she said.
However, the Ghana Country Manager of the AfDB African Development Bank, Ms Eyerusalem Fasika in a speech read for her by Theo Awanzam, a macroeconomist at the bank, pledged that the institution will continue to recognize the role and contributions of CSOs in shaping development interventions and making them more people-centred.
The workshop was jointly organised by the Lumiere Synergie pour le Developpement (LSD-Senegal), Bank Information Center (BIC) and Accountability Counsel (AC). 11 countries including Ghana were represented.
Participants advanced discussions on key issues related to the AfDB Group policies, like the Integrated Safeguards System, the Disclosure and Access to Information policy, the new Independent Recourse Mechanism, its climate policy, and strategies to advance a just, inclusive, green, and sustainable energy transition for Africa.