Funds for Great Lakes reconstruction to be managed by AfDB

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Wednesday in Tunis approved a proposal for the Bank Group to administer and manage resources for a special fund set up for the reconstruction and development of the Great Lakes Region (SFRD).

A statement from the AfDB received in Accra said the request would be submitted to the Bank Group’s Board of Governors for final approval.

It said the responsibility of the Bank in the administration of the fund’s resources will be limited to treasury and disbursement activities upon request by the Executive Secretary pursuant to decisions by the fund’s governing committee.

The statement said the special fund was established following a Declaration and a Peace, Security, Democracy and Development Pact endorsed by Heads of State and

Government of Member States of the second International Conference on the Great L akes Region (ICGLR) held in Nairobi from 14-15 December 2006.

SFRD’s objectives are to support the implementation of the Conference’s Protocols and Programmes of Action in priority areas such as security, democracy and good governance, economic development and regional integration as well as humanitarian, social and environmental issues.

The CGLR was established under the auspices of the United Nations and the African Union to address the specific needs and circumstances of the Great Lakes Region , which has experienced political and social conflicts that have disrupted economic and social activities, claiming almost 6 million lives and displacing over 10 million people.

The AfDB said cumulatively, Bank Group commitments in multi-national projects, lines of credit, institutional support and studies within the Great Lakes region a mounted to approximately US$ 725 million.

Its current operational activities in the region include identification, evaluation and implementation of national and multi-national studies, projects and capacity-building operations.

In addition to its operational activities in individual member countries, the Bank provides technical advice and guidance in areas such as economic reconstructi on and development, regional integration and good governance.

“In recognition of these efforts, the summit requested the Bank Group to manage and administer SFRD financial resources on behalf of member states,” it said.

“Subsequently, the Bank has assisted the Secretariat in the preparation of a technical note concerning the legal status and steps required to make the Special Fund operational.”

The statement said US$ 12.13 million had been committed to the SFRD by member st ates and donors as of 29 February 2008.

In addition, it said, several donors, including Germany, had pledged resources to be provided as soon as the Bank’s governing bodies approved the GLR states’ request for the Bank to host and administer the Fund’s resources and the required Special Account that had been set up.

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