On the occasion of its Annual Meetings, to be held from 22 to 26 May 2023 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, the African Development Bank Group plans to highlight the role that multilateral development banks could play in building a new development architecture beyond the financial.
The importance of this subject stems from the fact that multilateralism is currently facing significant challenges, including in responding to climate change, conflict, social fragility, and pandemics. International organizations should maximize their resources by engaging governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders to bring about meaningful change. If this is not done, less-developed economies could become more vulnerable.
From a development-financing perspective, a vital issue to be addressed at the Annual Meetings is reducing the current level of concentration of policy instruments and promoting inclusion and better coordination among multilateral development banks. The African Development Bank has built knowledge capital on global development priorities. On the ground, it deals with many bilateral and multilateral development financing mechanisms.
Therefore, the discussions addressing this issue should emphasize how roles could be shared among the various development actors in Africa. The other issue is the demand for African countries to be better represented in development financing structures. Participants will also be able to share their views on promoting increased transparency and global coordination among creditors to promote orderly sovereign debt restructuring in Africa. In this respect, the African Development Bank is open about its desire to lead on this issue. To achieve this, the Bank, as a benchmark multilateral development institution, must continue demonstrating its capacity to improve its institutional capabilities, promote transparency and accountability, and enhance its coordination with regional and national institutions to better respond to emerging challenges. There is no doubt that reforms are needed to better respond to existing challenges and enable African countries to benefit from funding tailored to their needs.
From this perspective, the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and the US candidate for the presidency of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, called for a renewed partnership when the nominee visited the pan-African institution’s headquarters in Abidjan on 6 March 2023. At that meeting, Mr. Banga highlighted the need for the World Bank Group to develop a strong partnership with the African Development Bank Group to bring about transformative outcomes.
The two leaders spoke of how the private sector could play a significant role in mobilizing critical capital to ensure meaningful economic development. This includes not only the private sector’s capital but also its capacity for innovation, so needed to meet the world’s many challenges. This aligns with the theme of the African Development Bank Group’s 2023 Annual Meetings (https://apo-opa.info/3Ap2TC9): “Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa.”