Will the G8 really make any difference in Africa?

Guest post by Donald Kaberuka, President of African Development Bank Group

In unsteady economic times, it was significant to see that transparency remained a crucial topic of discussion at the G8 in Lough Erne. Even more significant was that all the countries at the table walked away with a firm commitment to increasing transparency, in everything from finance to aid.

The African Development Bank believes transparency is an important part of our drive for increased accountability, ensuring that growth empowers not only the economy, but also the citizens of this continent.

We are now publishing information about all our activities through the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)—a cutting-edge common global standard for publishing aid information. IATI is a voluntary initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid in order to increase its effectiveness in the fight against poverty. It brings together donors and developing countries, civil society organisations and experts determined to increase the transparency of development assistance.

The decision to publish to IATI reflects our commitment to transparency and accountability in the use of our resources. The data we publish covers a wide range of information on the Bank’s public and private sector projects. We are proud to say that we are the world’s first multilateral development bank to provide private sector and precise geocoding data through IATI.

Increasing the transparency and effectiveness of aid is a key task for countries that receive foreign assistance in Africa. Why? Because it makes a real difference. Transparency empowers people with the information they need to follow the money, drive results and make better decisions. Thus it can help reduce corruption, improve the allocation of resources, and support good governance.

We will also use IATI to further the implementation of our new Disclosure and Access to Information Policy, which aims to broaden public access to the Bank’s information. The policy commits the Bank to carrying out its development activities in an open and transparent manner. It is based on the principles of good governance, particularly transparency, accountability and sharing of information on its operations.

Africa has been on a path of solid growth over the past decade—but this growth needs to be sustained more balanced and on a firmer footing. The Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022) is firmly rooted in a deep understanding of how far Africa has come, and where it wishes to go in the coming years. It is designed to focus the Bank’s resources on supporting Africa’s transformation and improving the quality and sustainability of growth.

The goal of an empowered and economically diverse Africa— women and men, rural and urban communities alike—will establish Africa as the next global emerging market. We want to continue to support this agenda as the development bank of choice.

 

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