African civil society urges AfDB to support sustainable, inclusive and people-centred development
This week, the African Development Bank (AfDB) holds its 2018 Annual Meetings. A large group of African civil society organisations calls on the bank to ensure social and environmental protection, to involve civil society, to pay attention to gender issues and to make sustainable choices in their energy access ambitions.
This year's AfDB Annual Meetings take place in South Korea from the 21st to 25th of May. The location makes it quite difficult for African civil society to attend, even though important issues are going to be discussed. Not only is the central theme this year 'Industrialize Africa', but on the agenda are also a review of the AfDB's Integrated Safeguard System and the drafting of a new Gender Strategy. To engage with African civil society, the AfDB organised a special Civil Society Forum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, ahead of their Annual Meetings.
Civil Society organisations from Africa and around the world got together in preparation to this CSO Forum and sat down together to formulate their demands to the shareholders of the AfDB.
Decisions taken by the AfDB (and other development banks) are the drivers of many problems local communities in Africa face. In the light of the current industrialization processes in Africa, that are mainly led by private sector, the CSO's noted that civil society and communities face mounting obstacles to meaningful participation in decision making and lack access to information, and that the AfDB's investments often negatively impact communities, especially women.
Both ENDS supports a network of African civil society organisations which aim to influence the banks' policies or want to learn more on how to influence the bank, by sharing information and by facilitating mutual exchange of experiences. The meeting in the sidelines of the AfDB's CSO Forum and the resulting Communiqué is an outcome of this support.
Read the Communiqué from the CSO Joint Strategy Workshop: Development, Gender, Energy and Accountability and the Press release on the website of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development.
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Both ENDS Comments and recommendations on the Bank Group’s Environmental and Social Policy of the AfDB Integrated Safeguards System
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The bank's flexible requirements for clients and national standards for risky projects dilute safeguards. Project approval should be predicated on specific and binding targets for compliance and reflect input from communities involved.
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Today our friends have been released after five nights in detention. We welcome this great news and we are happy and relieved that Babacar Diouf and the others who were arrested will soon be back with their loved ones.
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