Ghana, AfDB Group sign MoU for 2022 Annual Meetings

Accra, Nov. 8, GNA - Ghana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Development Bank towards the hosting of the Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings.

The agreement paves the way for the two parties to officially commence the preparations for the event.

The MoU defines responsibilities between the Host Country and the Bank with the Bank providing all documentation required for the meeting and extending invitation to participants.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, who is the current chair of the Bank’s Board of Governors signed the MOU on Ghana’s preparedness to host the event and Professor Vincent O. Nmehielle, AfDB Group’s Secretary-General signed on behalf of the Bank Group.

The Bank Group’s Annual Meetings are the most important annual statutory event at which the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the African Development Fund meet and review Bank Group activities over the previous year.

Prof. Nmehielle said on November 13, 2020, the Government of Ghana and the AfDB Group signed an MoU for the hosting of the 2021 Annual Meetings but the Covid-19 pandemic couldn’t allow physical Meetings and the conduct of the meetings was changed from physical to virtual.

He said considering this change in format, the Boards of Governors at their sitting of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Bank and the 47th Annual Meeting of the African Development Fund, resolved to extend the current cycle of hosting Annual Meetings to 2022 to enable Ghana to host the 2022 Annual Meetings of the Bank Group.

The Secretary-General said it was also recommended that consideration be given for future Annual Meetings of the Bank Group to be organized in a way that was mindful of the evolving context regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this regard, I am pleased to note that consultations on the conduct of the 2022 Annual Meetings in a hybrid format are held between Ghana as the Host and the Bank,” he said.

Prof. Nmehielle said following these consultations, an agreement was reached by both parties to incorporate in the MOU all elements required for the conduct of the Annual Meetings in a hybrid format.

He said the Group was primarily responsible for the organisation of the Annual Meetings, including providing all documentation required for the meetings and extending invitations to participants.

He said on its part, the Host was expected to make available goods and services needed for the effective organisation of the Annual Meetings to ensure eventual success.

He assured the Ministry of the Bank's commitment and availability to work with the Government towards the successful hosting of the 2022 Annual Meetings.

He said the Bank would continue to engage with the country team throughout the preparatory process until the end of the Annual Meetings.

Mr Ofori-Atta commended the Secretary-General for his support and commitment towards ensuring that the upcoming 2022 Annual Meetings were a success.

He said pushing for a new global financial architecture has not been easy, because during the 2021 Meetings, they acknowledged that the charge of saving the continent from widespread poverty must be led by the Bank.

The Minister said over the past 18 months, “we called on the IMF to on-lend at least USD 100billion of its new $650 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs) to Africa and advocated the establishment of an African Liquidity and Sustainability Facility to protect the continent against external shocks.”

He said recent estimates indicate that about 38.7million more Africans could slide into extreme poverty in 2021 (AfDB, 2021) and Africa’s external debt increased by some $37billion, from $665billion in 2019 to an estimated $702 billion in 2020 (World Bank).

“103 million jobs (corresponding to an average income loss of 10.7 per cent) have been lost and African countries need at least $4.3trillion, or $175billion a year, to finance infrastructure projects that support economic growth,” he added.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the upcoming Annual Meetings were of increased importance in forging ahead to addressing the devastating impact of the climate, health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19.

He said it was re-assuring to note that the team on the Mission has been satisfied so far with the general preparedness the MOU signing was yet another demonstration of Ghana’s enduring commitment to the 2022 AGM.

The Minister said AGM thus affords the opportunity to strategize and advance the cause to recover and build forward better. We look forward to hosting all of you at this seminal event.