Understanding the African Development Bank
This guide, co-produced by members of the AfDB CSOs Working Group, is intended to serve as a tool for communities and CSOs that would like to join the collective struggle to hold the AfDB more accountable and transparent, to ensure its projects do not harm people and the planet, and to let local communities decide their own development priorities and pathways.
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News / 23 May 2018
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.
News / 26 October 2022
Senegal: 26 innocent people including Both ENDS' partner arrested in Senegal
Update October 27th:
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.
Nonetheless this was a very bad signal from Senegalese authorities and police and an indication of the growing restriction on civic space in Senegal. It is unacceptable that freedom of expression is restricted, people should not have to go to jail for peacefully expressing their opinion - especially when their livelihood is at stake.
Letter / 15 May 2022
Both ENDS Comments and recommendations on the Bank Group’s Environmental and Social Policy of the AfDB Integrated Safeguards System
This letter by Both ENDS to the African Development Bank is a comment written in reaction to a draft version published by the Bank of its Environmental and Social Policy as part of a formal public consultation held by the Bank. This comment was sent to the bank along a joint submission letter with other CSOs, and specifically responds to the overarching Policy.
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.
Letter / 15 May 2022
Joint Submission of comments and recommendations to the Public Consultation on AfDB Integrated Safeguards System
Together with 29 other CSO's, we've submitted our comments and recommendations in the Public Consultation on the AfDB Integrated Safeguards System. These include that the Bank should prioritize community-led development and human rights-based approaches; protect natural resources and tackles environmental and climate crises; raise the bar on access to information, transparency and accountability; facilitate participatory processes in policies, programmes and projects; and end inequality, poverty, and the cutback and privatization of vital services.
External link / 10 December 2018
Human Rights Defenders are a Cornerstone of Sustainable Development
An Open Letter to States and Development Financiers on the need to ensure that development interventions support the realization of human rights, safeguard human rights defenders and guarantee meaningful public participation
News / 22 August 2022
Complaint to development banks about the Nachtigal dam in Cameroon
Both ENDS partner IFI Synergy has filed a complaint to the World Bank on behalf of local inhabitants about the Nachtigal dam in Cameroon. The dam is causing considerable problems for local communities and local people feel that the compensation they receive is inadequate. They also feel that they were insufficiently informed and consulted before construction of the dam started.
Advocating for responsible policies of development banks
Development banks should comply with strict environmental and human rights rules to ensure that their projects benefit and do not harm the poorest groups. Both ENDS monitors the banks to make sure they do.
Video / 18 March 2015
Money Energy People
Senegal is one of the countries with the highest amount of effective sunshine on earth. Instead of using the 3000 hours of sunshine a year as a source of energy, 2 new coal fired power plants are now being built with the help of the Dutch development bank FMO, using public money. This video shows the consequences for the local population.
Publication / 11 February 2016
Letter / 1 March 2020
Both ENDS submission to Phase One of the ESF review of the AIIB, March 20 2020
Both ENDS letter to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on the Environmental and Social Framework review.The AIIB adopted its Environmental Social Framework shortly after it opened for business in 2016. In fact, the AIIB didn't consult widely for the draft policy at the time. A full review in fact still has to be conducted.Safeguards policies are of crucial importance for project affected people to hold banks to account. However, Environmental and Social Frameworks (ESF) nowadays replace safeguards at banks. The ESF model leads to a reduction of a Bank's direct and mandatory role in overview, including due diligence, monitoring, and evaluation, of Bank funded activities and investments, along with a shift towards a greater reliance on client self-assessment and self-reporting.
Letter / 20 March 2018
Talking points on the final draft ADB PCP
Both ENDS submitted a public comment on the proposed access to information policy of the Asian Development Bank. In the regime of exceptions and limitations to the disclosure policy, we are concerned about the lack of a clear requirement for the Bank to adequately justify exceptions. We would prefer the regime of exceptions and limitations to be based on the principle that access to information may be refused only when the Bank can adequately demonstrate harm that may be caused by disclosure.
Publication / 11 May 2017
Letter / 8 November 2016
Comments to AIIB’s Energy Strategy: Sustainable Energy for Asia Issues Note for discussion
A letter written by Both ENDS, co-signed by 350.org, Australia, Urgewald, Germany, Green Alternative, Georgia, and others, with comments to the AIIB's Energy Strategy Issues note. This strategy prioritizes large scale energy infrastructure, which fails to meet the energy needs of local communities.
The AIIB has the opportunity to champion financing green energy systems for future generations by leapfrogging the large energy infrastructure that rely on fossil fuels, plantations for biomass or dams.
Letter / 24 September 2014
A Joint CSO Submission on the Draft Revised Version of the EIB Transparency Policy
Both ENDS co-wrote a Joint CSO Submission on the Draft Revised Version of the EIB Transparency Policy to the EIB. The transparency policy does not adequately reflect key international standards and principles regarding transparency, as set out in the Global Transparency Initiative's Transparency Charter for International Financial Institutions.
The policy should meet the nine key principles as set out in the Global Transparency Initiative's Transparency Charter for International Financial Institutions, namely: 1) the right of access,; 2) automatic disclosure,; 3) access to decision-making; 4) the right to request information; 5) limited exceptions; 6) appeals; 7) whistleblower protection; 8) the promotion of freedom of information; and 9) regular review.
News / 11 May 2017
African Development Bank accepts complaint about coal plant
A year ago, the Senegalese NGO Takkom Jerry filed a complaint with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dutch Development Bank FMO, with support from Both ENDS. These banks finance the Sendou coal power station, right next to the fishing village of Bargny. The AfDB has now recognized the complaint. FMO is already processing the complaint and will publish an official response shortly.
Publication / 10 December 2018
News / 10 June 2022
FMO fails to meet best practices on financial intermediaries
In a new Position Statement on Financial Intermediary (FI) Lending, Dutch development bank FMO argues for limited responsibility over the outcomes investments that are channeled through commercial banks, investment funds, and other financial intermediaries, representing by far the bigger sector of its portfolio. In doing so, FMO is undermining its development mission, including the protection of human rights and addressing the climate crisis. FMO intends to delegate these key responsibilities to its FI clients only, falling short of best practices of peer financial institutions. In a joint submission prepared by Both ENDS, Oxfam Novib, Recourse and SOMO, we argue that FMO can do much more to ensure the protection of human rights, the environment, and to measure the development impact of its indirect investments.
Letter / 23 August 2021
Joint CSO Submission A Gender comment on the newly proposed EIB E&S Framework
6 civil society organizations, including Both ENDS have submitted a gender comment on the newly proposed EIB Environmental and Social Framework. The EIB Environmental and Social Standards has to be updated to ensure that due attention to gender specific impacts, risks and related mitigation strategies is integrated in the policy and each standard, as well the assessment needs to specifically address the needs and problems of all genders. A lot of improvements can be made in the integration of gender aspects in policy and standards, in order to prevent violation of the rights of women and girls during project implementation, and tools (widely used by other organisations) and or commitments for their development should be included (inclusive consultations, Gender assessments and analyses, gender impact assessment, Legal Assessment Tool (LAT) for gender-equitable land tenure, gender responsive tools for prevention of violence.
Letter / 23 August 2021
Reflecting the duality of gender and climate in the EIB’s Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework’s Standard 5 on Climate Change
This briefing of Eurodad, co-authored by Pieter Jansen, Both ENDS aims to outline recommendations on how the European Investment Bank should address the interconnected issue of gender inequity and the climate crisis in the newly proposed environmental and social policy.Severe climate change has consequences for human rights, including the right to life. As such, under the European convention on human rights the EIB has a duty to stop carbon-emissions related investments. The EIB and project promoters must monitor a project's greenhouse gas emissions and the climate risks of the project on the natural environment, and the women possibly affected by the project. The newly proposed policy should ensure that project promoters, who apply for EIB funding, submit a gender and social inclusion plan, and full participation and engagement of women, local communities and stakeholders in the Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment methodology.
Letter / 5 August 2021
A joint CSO submission to the European Investment Bank, Standard 11 on intermediate finance in the Public consultation on the EIB Group's
16 civil society organisations including Both ENDS have written a letter of concern to the European Investment Bank about a newly proposed standard for the Bank its intermediate finance investing. Both ENDS contribution to the contents of the joint letter consists out of proposals for improvement of screening, scoping, due diligence, appraisal, monitoring and supervision of high-risk clients and sub-projects. through financial intermediaries and clear and mandatory social, environmental and human rights requirements for FI investing matters.