On the occasion of the 2020 Civil Society Forum, the African Development Bank recalled its commitment to strengthened collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs) on the continent on strategic issues. -country, accountability, fight against corruption and monitoring and evaluation of projects.
This session enabled several Bank departments to take stock of their commitments with CSOs and to interact with them on the initiatives underway to strengthen their partnerships. “Between 60 and 70% of complaints received by PIAC come from civil society in the communities where the projects are implemented. These complaints have triggered investigations and companies have been sanctioned, ”she said on the part of the fight against corruption.
The Bank was working to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations and that it had set up a platform to involve African civil society on issues of transparency, integrity, ethics and accountability.
“In early 2021, we will be engaging with CSOs to get their input on compliance and integrity issues. We also want to engage women in setting up a fund dedicated to governance issues and civil society organizations interested in this area will be involved, ”said Florence Freda-Dennis.
Frédéric Bambara, senior communications officer within the Independent Inspection Mechanism (IRM), explained that this entity, created in June 2004 within the Bank, acted as a recourse body for those affected (or likely to be affected). ‘be) by Bank-financed projects, which they may require to comply with its own operational policies and procedures.
Senior civil society advocacy officer at the Civil Society Engagement division, Tarwin Luther Yaméogo said, “The engagement of civil society is important for the Bank to strengthen transparency, dialogue and consultation. The Bank-Civil Society Joint Committee serves as an advisory body for the Bank’s strategy, as an accountability body, and as an interface with the populations. To facilitate this dialogue, he recalled that the Bank had put in place a number of mechanisms, including a joint committee made up of eleven representatives of civil society.”
This advisory body, whose mandate has just been renewed through transparent calls for candidates for the period 2020-2022, serves as an advisor to the Bank and ensures that the concerns of the communities are taken into account in the operations of the Bank.
The Bank also pursues a policy of transparent access to information via its website, in particular through a newsletter, the “Citizen’s Voice in Africa” distributed to nearly 4,000 CSOs (exchange platform between the Bank and organizations) and through open days in the field to communicate directly with civil society.
In addition to the Civil Society Forum, whose opening ceremony was chaired this year by Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the Bank Group, an inclusion plan to address the needs of society in the agenda of development was set up by the Bank.
This session was followed by four panels organized virtually by the CSOs themselves to discuss among other issues related to health and the reconstruction of post-Covid-19 Africa, renewable energies and sustainable food systems. , monitoring the funding of Covid-19 and access to information of affected communities and the role of civil society organizations in mitigating the effects of Covid-19 on small-scale cross-border trade in southern Africa .