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CSOs Meet AfDB in Accra

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Story by: News Desk

A delegation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) led by Chibeze Ezekiel met with officials of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Accra on Tuesday, 21st June 2022.

The delegation constituted reps from the Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND), ACCESS Coalition,  African Climate Reality Project (ACRP) and the National Coordinator of the CSOs SDGs Platform in Ghana.

The meeting primarily was to deliberate on ways of strengthening working relationship with the bank.

The delegation was welcome by Eyerusalem Fasika, AfDB Country Manager and some officials at the country office.

After introductions, Chibeze thank the bank officials for honouring the meeting request inspite of their busy schedules.

He recounted discussions with AfDB officials at the sidelines of the bank’s AGM held in Accra a couple of weeks ago which informed the need for engagement with the national office.

The bank noted that it:

1. Considers climate change as a threat and has taken steps to tackle it by giving support to member countries.

2. Has a consultative process that requires the voices or views of all key or relevant actors namely youth, women, marginalised groups, private sector, donor agencies. CSOs are therefore important stakeholders especially when it comes to reaching the grassroots.

3. Has a CSOs department that engages civil society on the number of issues including holding the governments accountable on projects funded by the bank.

The department will also oversee the works and get inputs from CSOs who are in the said sector of projects.

4. Engages with CSOs through the Country Strategy Paper and the Climate Change & Green Growth Policy and Strategy processes.

5. Will organise the CSOs Forum on October 6th and 7th in Abidjan which will be a hybrid session.

6. Support government’s development agenda through the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) process. It’s designed to cover 5 years. The Current one is from 2019-2023.

7. Works around key Thematic areas notably Gender, Youth, Climate, Environment, Employment and Digitilization.

8. Has developed a Climate Change and Green Growth Strategy which aligns the bank’s investment to the Paris Climate Agreement. There are 3 separate documents around this – Policy, Strategy and Action Plan

9. Has the African Climate Change Fund which seeks to support medium & small micro entreprises. The next call for proposal is due very soon.

10. Has the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Hub for open dialogue or discussions on the status of the NDCs in Africa. It’s open and interested persons are to write to the Coordinator of the Hub to join.

11. Has Working Groups on Gender, Health and Education (which includes CSOs). CSOs must be issue based; must have the governance & internal processes in place (accountability) as well as build legitimacy.

12. Has 18 operations with a portfolio of $750 million covering the Transportation (42%), Agriculture (22%) and Governance, Water & Sanitation, Energy and Finance (36%) sectors. Private sector makes up 42%.

13. Has provided about $250million to Ecobank to support small and medium green entreprises to help build the profile of Ecobank to attracting funding from Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other bodies.

14. Can be engaged at 3 Levels – project preparation, implementation and completion stages.

The CSOs delegation also took turns to share their advocacy work experiences with AfDB and suggested some actions the bank can take to enhance its work in Ghana. These include:

1. Admonishing the bank to conduct assessment of CSOs in Ghana and not to lump them together with the issue of legitimacy, accountability and good governance due to different strengths and expertise.

With 1000s of CSOs/NGOs registered in Ghana, some may be doing well in terms of compliance while others may need support to put the necessary structures or systems in place.

2. Giving the bank the opportunity to engage more CSOs through platforms or coalitions managed by NGOs.

3. Actively participating in the renewable energy project. AfDB signed an agreement of about $70million on renewable energy during the Annual General Meeting and indicated that the process will kick off in September. CSOs will be involved accordingly.

4. Developing simplified versions of the bank’s policies and strategies on CSOs engagement

Next Steps:

– Eyerusalem, the AfDB Country Manager bank recommended a regular engagement (quarterly or every 6 months) between AfDB and CSOs working on the thematic areas of the bank. She tasked Chibeze to coordinate this exercise.

The bank was represented by:

1. Eyerusalem Fasika – Country Manager, Ghana Office
2. Bekale Ollame – Principal Country Program Officer.
3. Edith Adera – Climate Change Specialist
4. Emmanuel – CSOs department
5. Theo Awanzm – Macro Economist and part of the officials on the CSP.

CSOs Delegation:
1. Chibeze Ezekiel (Team Lead)
2. Solomon Yamoah (Partnership and Networking Coordinator, SYND)
3. Priscilla Ahiada, ACCESS Coalition West Africa
4. Mariam Yussif, Deputy Country Mentor -African Climate Reality Project (ACRP)
5. Kwadwo Oteng Owusu, National Coordinator – CSOs SDGs Platform in Ghana

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com


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