Good Governance in Africa – The African Development Bank Efforts
Good governance - in which public institutions function responsively, transparently, and with accountability - is essential to reducing poverty and stimulating growth. Weak governance translates into poor public services and limited participation by citizens in shaping their future. “Governance for Development Initiative” notes that Governance is critical for development – and development is critical for governance – and has become a powerful theme of discussions of development in Africa and elsewhere.
The African Development Bank (AFDB) one of the premier organizations in promoting development in Africa recognizes that good governance is perhaps the single most important factor necessary for eradicating poverty and promoting development in Africa over its 50 year existence. The institution established in the 1960s at same time as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) by the newly independent countries was set up to adapt to the African realities and to the continent’s developmental challenges.
As the bank embarked on key development projects it noted and made an important move to strengthen governance in Africa and promote growth through Governance Strategic Directions and Action Plan (GAP). This was coming out of the failed decade of debt burdens of the 1980s and the Bretton Wood institutions structural adjustment programs of the 1990s. In 2000 the bank adopted the good governance policy and embarked on USD 2.5 billion investment between 2000 and 2006, to strengthen African governance structures and institutional capacity. The bank itself embarked on a new phase of institutional reform in order to consolidate its role as Africa’s premier development financial institution. In 2006, the bank created the Governance, Economic and Financial Management Department (OSGE) to strengthen the bank’s capacity to support the efforts of its member countries to improve governance.
The responses to these...