Director and Founder of Lumiere Synergie Development, a research, lobby and advocacy organization based in Senegal, Aly Marie Sagne has stressed the need for the African Development Bank to work hand in hand with Civil Society Organisations to efficiently serve Africans.
According to him the dual’s role as partners is crucial to help reduce poverty, improve living conditions for Africans and mobilize resources for the continent’s economic and social development.
“Civil Society and the African Development Bank Group are partners and should work together hand to hand to serve the African people. But in reality, things are a little bit different. And I think that it’s just about corporate culture and also because of a misunderstanding from each side of our different nature, approach, and perspectives. So, we came a long way, and I am confident we are on the right path. This partnership is continuous work and needs to be built for years. But, we have a long way to go,” he said.
Mr. Sagne also noted that when it comes to recognizing weakness of the AfDB, CSO engagement, participation and access to information are at a bottleneck and that much more needs to be done.
“For instance, the Bank is hosting its Annual Meeting with any space for Civil Society in the official program.
In addition, the Bank’s Environment and Social Safeguards Policy (ISS) is under review, which requests the Bank to consult its external stakeholders including CSO. But the review process has been criticized by Civil Society Groups from all over the world who complained at the AfDB (and at high level), because it lacks transparency, inclusivity, and accessibility.
So, that’s why next week, we are planning to extend strong recommendations to the AfDB on how to improve and strengthen its commitments vis à vis the Civil Society. We will also use this opportunity to protest in front of the African Development Bank Officials,” he stated.
Speaking on the theme for the upcoming AfDB 2022 annual meeting, ‘Achieving Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition for Africa’ and the role and contribution of the CSOs, he said “this is the core role of Civil Society, and we commit to hold the AfDB Group to account. So, we are here to make the voice of the communities and our voice heard.
Just as the former of AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said, development by remote control is not simply possible.” So, in this gathering, LSD will bring about 30 CSO and community representatives to reflect and share their experience on AfDB’s concrete projects related to participation and accountability, Access to Information, Climate and Energy Transition”.
As one of the most African CSO focused and work-oriented on the AfDB Group over the last 10 years, Mr. Sagne said his outfit will mobilize and coordinate the civil society community efforts, not only in African, but globally, to effectively engage with the continental Development Finance Institution.
This it will do with partners such as Bank Information Center (BIC) and Accountability Counsel (AC), LSD-Senegal to host the three days Capacity Building and Strategy Workshop from May 23 to 25, 2022, alongside the African Development Bank Annual Meetings.
The workshop aims to advance discussions among CSO about the key issues related to the African Development Bank Group policies, like the Integrated Safeguards System, the Disclosure and Access to Information policy, the new Independent Recourse Mechanism, its climate policy, and strategies to advance a just, inclusive, green, and sustainable energy transition for Africa.
Lumiere Synergie Development, (LSD) is a Research, Lobby & Advocacy Organization based in Senegal (West Africa) and IFIs watcher. It researches on the African Development Bank’s policies, critical projects, capacity building & training for African civil society organizations & communities and we support affected communities by AfDB projects to seek remedy, using the Bank’s Independent Complaint Mechanism. LSD is also doing Lobby & Advocacy for policy change through campaigns and networking.