As a part of the Arab Watch Coalition’s efforts in monitoring International Financial Institutions in the MENA region, AWC has been following the African Development Bank (AfDB) activities and policies since 2018. AWC learned through its work that the AfDB puts Transparency and Access to Information at the core of its values and operations, but it hasn’t yet provided the least authentic pieces of evidence. The current layout of the AfDB has been primarily criticized for its poor reach out, communication, and responsiveness compared to its peer institutions (EBRD in 2018IDB Invest in 2019ADB in 2021EIB in 2021).

In 2021, the AfDB launched its Integrated Safeguards System (ISS) review. This policy defines the framework that would ensure the protection of the people and the environment against potential unfavorable impacts of the Bank’s future operations in Africa. It was an extraordinary opportunity for the institution to put its discourse on transparency into practice; and for local communities to have their inputs toward safe and just development in Africa taken seriously. Evidence has portrayed unconstructive and ambivalent realities on the ground. The AfDB fails to adhere to its transparency discourse that only remains a ticking the box exercise. 

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