ABIDJAN MEETING; African Development Bank Group and World Bank Leaders set path for transformative collaboration in Africa

ABIDJAN MEETING; African Development Bank Group and World Bank Leaders set path for transformative collaboration in Africa

By Nakibuuka Elizabeth & Agencies

It has emerged that during working meeting held in Abidjan, the Senior Vice-President of the African Development Bank Group Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala and a delegation from the World Bank led by Managing Director for Operations Anna Bjerde was concluded with a mutual agreement to identify key areas for intervention and collaboration.

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This collaboration is aimed at strengthening efforts to tackle poverty and climate change, develop various sectors, including energy and agriculture, and deal with pandemics.
Ms Bjerde was accompanied by the institution’s regional Vice-President for West and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, and other colleagues.

The meeting, which took place at the Bank Group’s headquarters in Abidjan, built upon previous discussions between World Bank President Ajay Banga and the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina.
Ms Tshabalala, also in attendance was the Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade and several of the Bank Group’s senior managers, provided an update on the Bank Group’s top priorities for the continent, known as the High 5s.

Ms Tshabalala pointed out the benefits of the meeting, which helped to strengthen efforts already made to tackle poverty and climate change, build young people’s capacity for promoting small and medium-sized businesses, develop the energy, agricultural and other sectors, and deal with pandemics. Ms Tshabalala also stressed the Bank Group’s partnerships with other institutions, such as Afreximbank, the West African Development Bank and others, for better synergies on the ground.

“A few months ago, we received the visit of the incoming president of the World Bank, and since then, we have noted that the two presidents have regular exchanges. Obviously, I think that the expectation is that they will come up with the concrete plans and objectives for cooperation, partnership, because I think this is what our shareholders are looking for,” Ms Tshabalala said.

“We want to really articulate our joint efforts very strongly, especially with the World Bank, because I think the two of us have a unique position on the continent; we do the most development work. You know our relationship is going from strength to strength,” she said.
On her part, Ms Bjerde lauded the Bank Group’s dedication to fostering synergies among development initiatives in Africa. She elaborated on how projects in key areas of focus, funded by the World Bank, could serve as the cornerstone for future partnerships. According to Ms Bjerde, these included addressing recent crises and prioritising medium-term development goals such as poverty reduction, equitable growth, and tackling climate change.

“Our precedent is huge, which is why I also wanted to make sure, during my visit, that we spend some time together, and I look forward to seeing what we can do to bring real development ultimately to a higher level. I think we’re all being called upon to become better and bigger”, Ms Bjerde said.

Ms Bjerde’s visit comes only a few months after the African Development Bank Group hosted then nominee Ajay Banga, who took up his post in Washington in early May. During his stopover, Banga and President Adesina explored opportunities for collaboration.
Both leaders agreed to work together to achieve transformative results in Africa. They also emphasized the role of the private sector in mobilizing capital resources.

The Writer is passionate about Human Rights, economic justice, women inclusion and Human Rights.

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