African Development Bank (AfDB) has reiterated the crucial role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in promoting principles of transparency and accountability.
The multilateral finance bank, during a webinar on accountability and good governance, noted how greater transparency and accountability in development bank-funded projects enhances social and environmental impacts for beneficiaries.
CSOs from eight Southern African countries participated in the webinar organised by the bank’s Independent Review Mechanism in partnership with the Graça Machel Trust.
‘The role of CSOs in promoting principles of transparency and accountability, and in amplifying citizens’ voice and participation are key ingredients in achieving inclusive and sustainable development’, Director of the bank’s Gender, Women and Civil Society, Vanessa Moungar, said.
The aim of the webinar, according to AfDB, was to reiterate CSOs’ role in promoting accountability and transparency in society.
Two African CSOs, BudgIT and Connected Development (CODE), recently exhibited an ideal civil society vibrancy by exposing how the government of Nigeria accounted for only ten percent of Covid-19-response fund after receiving N2.3 trillion from donors to fight the pandemic and N288 billion for intervention programmes.
BudgIT and CODE’s Follow The Money are tracking Covid-19 intervention funds in Nigeria, The Gambia, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Cameroon, and Kenya.
The CSOs also revealed that out of the 36 states in Nigeria, 27 states do not have a breakdown of their Covid-19 expenses.
Speaking at the Covid-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) conference in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the organisations said corruption and lack of transparency in the allocation of resources had weakened the response to the pandemic.
Director of AfDB’s Independent Review Mechanism, David Simpson, said accountability was a critical element of addressing poverty, governance, and environmental insecurity.
‘At its core, accountability is about holding people and institutions to account for their impacts on the lives of people, and the planet’, he noted.
‘Those impacted have a right to be heard and listened to’.
Similarly, Acting CEO of the Graça Machel Trust, Dr Shungu Gwarinda, described African CSOs as ‘watchdogs and influencers for inclusive development’.
‘Among the challenges faced by CSOs and project-affected people are intimidation and reprisals’, representative of the World Bank Inspection Panel, Ramanie Kunanayagam, said.
Photo source: WACSI