AfDB annual meeting 2011: summary and comments

This year’s annual meeting of African Development Bank (ADB) may not be remembered for the great decisions it has taken or for any other reason. Notwithstanding, the participation was huge in a demonstration of interest in what is going on in Africa.Present in the annual meeting were a lot of international institutions. In addition were the all 77 states members (which are not only Africans but also from other continents). Also present were many other international institutions like the World Bank, representatives of different states and organizations, international media such as Reuters, Financial Times, Jeune Afrique, Africa24 and many others.

A general theme as “Inclusive Growth” was given a good response, or at least, the beginning of a response. Other important themes were the ongoing crises in north Africa and other hotspots in the Continent, like Ivory Coast, Sudan, Somalia, just to name a few.

It was also important to note that African Women and Business is one of the themes that will always take a central stage in the African matters. This was an argument proposed and supported by president Kaberuka.

As stated by the president of women-captain of industries in the world, Foning Françoise, this is important – because women do not tend to spend money in going to pub and drinking beer with their friends or opening second office to relax with their secretaries, as often done by their men counterparts.

Another important theme was on migration and remission. Emigration is one of those phenomenal in many parts of African countries, and the remission constitutes, in many parts of the continent an important element of national balance.

A little surprising probably, was what a man said during the conference that the Africans who live abroad may never return to their home countries. So, “what we have to do is to work with them for the good of African countries… It’s a waste of time talking of how to attract them back home”.

The last but not the least theme during the first two days of the conference was on the SMEs (small and medium African enterprises) and its “Missing Middle”, of which video documentations are hereunder on

Of all the debates was one standing impression from Allon Raiz, CEO of RaizCorp.

At the beginning of his speech, he said that when he first started his business, it was a “total failure“. But then he found the trust of someone who financed his venture. With the help from others, the business eventually turned out very profitable.

The impression to me was exactly this: “trust”. After all, this is what business is all about.

During my interview with him, Allon said that without that amount of trust and confidence, he would not have been where he is today.


Piervincenzo Canale

Translation by Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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