Final Communique of the 55th AGM of the Board of Governors of AfDB


Friday, August 28, 2020 / 09:30 AM / By AfDB / Header Image Credit: @AfDB_Group

WE, the Governors, representing Member Countries of the African Development Bank and State Participants of the African Development Fund (the "Bank Group"), convened virtually for the 2020 Annual Meetings from 26th to 27th August 2020 chaired by Her Excellency Mme NIALE KABA, Minister of Planning and Development for Cote d'Ivoire and Chairperson of the Boards of Governors: 

  1. Take note of the enormous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including severe disruptions to the development trajectories of our Regional Member Countries (RMCs). In this connection, we commend the Bank Group for the adoption of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Facility (CRF) to provide a flexible range of exceptional support to lessen the severe economic and social impact of the pandemic on our RMCs. We call for the effective implementation of the CRF in accordance with the Bank's financial sustainability framework, to achieve its laudable objectives and the adaptation of the Bank Group's interventions to address the medium to long-term challenges occasioned by the persistence of the pandemic. We also commend the Boards of Directors, Senior Management and Staff for the temporary measures adopted towards ensuring the continuity of Bank Group operations despite the disruptions;
  2. Welcome the Bank Group's sustained attention to ensure the continued financial strength of the institution by updating its financial sustainability framework, and encourage further steps to establish buffers, manage lending levels, and adopt automatic actions to protect capital adequacy thresholds and ratios during the pandemic;
  3. Given the highly uncertain outlook related to the pandemic, we call on the Bank Group to continue implementing its programmes with particular attention to addressing the financial and operational risks that may arise, in order to safeguard its ability to deliver on its development mandate in the most effective manner;
  4. Note the statements made at the Governors' Dialogue, in reference to the far-reaching reform programme undertaken by the Bank Group within the framework of the Seventh General Capital Increase (GCI-VII) and the Fifteenth Replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-15). While we commend the steps taken to date to implement the reform programme, we urge the Bank Group to redouble efforts to fully and timely deliver on the various commitments, with a view to sharpening its strategic focus, enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring financial sustainability, strengthening its capacity to deliver results and at scale, and positioning it to achieve impact as a trusted development partner on the continent. We exhort the Boards of Directors, President, Senior Management and Staff to work constructively and proactively on the implementation of this programme;
  5. Acknowledge the continued relevance of the High 5 priority areas with an emphasis on selectivity to help bridge the infrastructure finance gap in areas where the Bank Group has comparative advantages such as transport, telecommunications, agriculture, energy and digital economy. We recognise the critical role of quality healthcare infrastructure for the African continent. In this regard, the Bank should further articulate how to develop its role in this area, taking into account other development partners' areas of expertise and its internal capacity;
  6. Call on the Bank Group to strengthen its internal governance, compliance, control and accountability functions to align with best practices of peer institutions. In this connection and in a spirit of unity and collaboration, we authorize the establishment of an ad-hoc Committee of the Board of Governors to oversee a review of the Bank's ethics and complaints handling governing framework. This review will consider and update the Whistle Blowing and Complaints Handling Policy, the Code of Conduct for Elected Officers, the Terms of Reference for the Ethics Committee, and any other relevant rules to strengthen governance of the Bank Group, ensure the highest levels of accountability, credibility, integrity and promote transparency and independence. We agreed to reconvene on this matter during the next Annual Meetings to assess the findings and recommendations of the review;
  7. Encourage the Bank Group to reinforce its focus on its areas of comparative advantage relative to other multilateral development banks, within the global development landscape while exploring areas of synergies and coordinate in other areas with other development partners for accelerating the implementation of its High 5 priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa as well as the objectives of the African Union Agenda 2063. To this end, we urge the Bank Group to deepen its collaboration with the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to fast-track Africa's integration and economic and social transformation particularly in view of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which has the potential to increase growth, enhance competitiveness, improve the business climate, as well as ensure greater investment and development of regional and continental global value chains;
  8. Encourage the Bank Group to step up its support to RMCs to enhance capacity in quality infrastructure development, domestic resource mobilization, quality job creation, support for women and youth empowerment, public financial management, debt management and transparency, private sector development, combating corruption, stemming the tide of illicit finance, addressing the challenges associated with climate change, the adoption of approaches that ensure energy security, expand access to affordable and reliable energy services and stimulate low-carbon development in line with national climate-related action plans, such as, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and a sustained focus on aligning its investments with the principles set out in international climate agreements, including principally the Paris Agreement, based on the joint MDB framework adopted at COP24 and the continued use of renewable energy towards achieving inclusive economic growth;
  9. Encourage sustained investments in the private sector in RMCs. In this regard, we call on the Bank Group to increase the focus of its support to sectorial policy and regulatory reforms with the aim of fostering a business-friendly environment; and leveraging significant new investment commitments for projects in Africa, including through the Africa Investment Forum;
  10. Call on the Bank Group to strengthen its effectiveness to respond to the unique needs of RMCs that may be in fragile and conflict situations as well as small, middle income and island states, including advocating for and incentivizing prudent macroeconomic policy frameworks, and providing sound advice on debt sustainability in coordination with the IMF and World Bank. We also encourage the Bank Group to identify ways to support the G20 initiative on the suspension of debt servicing obligations for low income countries and to deploy more human resources to States in fragile situations; 
  11. Call for increased capacity and resources to strengthen implementation of the Bank Group's social and environmental safeguards, for updating the Integrated Safeguards System, and for continued improvements in the accountability mechanism so that aggrieved parties have a voice and can seek redress;
  12. Encourage a stronger commitment to gender equality in Bank Group operations in order to enhance human progress and structural transformation in RMCs. In this regard, we commend the Bank Group for the partnerships it is forging to increase women's economic empowerment and access to finance, including through the Affirmative Finance Facility for Women in Africa (AFAWA) to be implemented in the next few months;
  13. Call on the Bank Group to increase efforts towards facilitating more and better opportunities for the youth to help stem migration from the continent. Accordingly, invite the Bank to better integrate the impact on employment, especially on young people, as a selection criterion for operations financed by the Bank;
  14. Commend the Boards of Directors, Management and staff of the Bank Group for the operational and financial performance in 2019 and welcome the unqualified opinion of the Bank Group's external auditors on the financial statements ending 31 December 2019 and their confirmation of the effectiveness of the internal controls of the Bank Group;
  15. We re-elected Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as President of the Bank Group for the next five years commencing 1 September 2020. We congratulate him on his re-election, commit to support him and wish him success in driving the work of the Bank Group;
  16. Look forward to the next Annual Meetings scheduled for 24 to 28 May 2021, in Accra, Ghana.

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