Africa: New International Initiatives, 03/11/'96

Africa: New International Initiatives, 03/11/'96

Africa: New International Initiatives

Date Distributed (ymd): 960311

FAVDO-US Launches World Bank-NGO Africa Round Table

Last month [January], the Forum of African Voluntary Development Organizations Washington Liaison office (FAVDO-US) launched the World Bank-NGO Africa Round Table. This effort represents a major African NGO initiative and is a part of FAVDO-US' strategy of giving voice to African NGOs in the multi-lateral institutions and building a broader coalition to reverse the general decline in US foreign aid to Africa.

The principal objectives of the round table are to: a) create a forum for regular consultation and constructive partnership between the Africa Region of the World Bank and the US-based Africa support networks; b) disseminate best practice lessons based on the bank's and NGO's experience in the field; c) identify pertinent regional priorities and concerns shared by both Africans -- governments and civil societies -- and the World Bank, for example, replenishment of the IDA funds and creating a support/advocacy coalition around such issues; and d) provide a platform for visiting African NGO practitioners seeking to dialogue with the World Bank and the Africa constituency network in the area.

The formal launching of the Round Table was held on January 31. The two-hour meeting was attended by Edward K. Jaycox, the bank's vice-president/Africa and the senior management staff of the Africa Region. On the NGO side, there were representatives from a cross-section of Africa-focused PVOs, including a large number of InterAction member agencies, policy research and advocacy groups, and religious networks. Representatives of the private sector and of major donor governments also attended.

Jaycox briefed the participants on the World Bank's mandate and strategies for working in Africa. An overview of the World Bank-NGO relations to date was provided by Paul Nelson of the University of Maryland, Center for Global Change. Mazide Ndiaye, president of FAVDO, spoke of the significant role being played by the World Bank in Africa and underscored the need for dialogue through such a forum. He appealed to all sides to make the Bank "work for and with Africans." Following the presentations, all sides participated in a candid and constructive exchange during the question and answer session.

As a follow-up to the launching meeting, FAVDO-US, in collaboration with a group of NGOs, is working to develop the round table's agenda and a tentative work plan for the year. Since the round table is still a work in progress, all Africa-focused networks and constituencies seeking to interact with, and have an input to the World Bank's policy and program in the region, are encouraged to join. FAVDO-US is currently serving as the convener of the round table and is back-stopping the initiative between meetings. Requests for additional information about the initiative, including the minutes from the launching meeting, should be addressed to Gabriel Negatu at 202/387-7275; e-mail:


This article appeared in the February 26, 1996 issue of Monday Developments, a bi-weekly newsletter published by InterAction: American Council for Voluntary Interational Action. InterAction is a coalition of over 150 US-based private and voluntary organizations (PVOs) working internationally in sustainable development, disaster relief, refugee assistance, public policy and education of Americans about the developing world. Monday Developments contains news, analysis, features and commentary on changing global events that affect humanitarian work. In addition to reports from around the globe, it provides updates on initiatives in Washington that affect people in the developing world and suggests ways readers can influence US government policies. The newsletter also lists important conferences and seminars on international issues, reviews new resources, and has a section on employment opportunities in the US and abroad. To receive a sample copy, send $4 (US currency only please) to Monday Developments, InterAction, 1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW #801, Dept. IN, Washington, DC 20036, USA. Tel: 202-667- 8227; fax: 202-667-8236.

InterAction's web page is at The e-mail address is

************************************************************ United Nations: Note No. 5324, 8 March 1996


The United Nations System-wide Special Initiative on Africa will be launched in New York on 15 March by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank.

The launching of the 10-year, multi-billion dollar programme of concrete actions aimed at providing renewed impetus to Africa's development will take place in the Economic and Social Council chamber at Headquarters at 10 a.m., followed immediately by a press conference at approximately 11:15 a.m. Other key participants in the New York launch include James Gustave Speth, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and co-chair of the Initiative's Steering Committee; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Prabhakar Narvekar, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

The Economic and Social Council chamber will be linked via live satellite to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the seat of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), where Africa's response will be provided by Ethiopian Prime Minister and current OAU Chairman Meles Zenawi, and a representative of OAU Secretary-General Salim A. Aalim. K.Y. Amaoko, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Steering Committee Co-Chair, will also take part in the proceedings. Launches also will be held in other major African and European capitals.

The Special Initiative is the United Nations system's most significant mobilization of support ever for the development of a continent's people, as well as its largest coordinated action. Implementation of the Initiative will require up to $25 billion, mostly from the reallocation of existing resources at the national and international level. The World Bank has agreed to lead in mobilizing the bulk of this funding, which will go primarily towards improving basic education and health in Africa. Peace-building, good governance, and water and food security are among the Initiative's other areas of emphasis.

For further information, please contact: UNDP Division of Public Affairs, tel: (212) 906-6709/5315, fax: (212) 906-5364; Africa Recovery, United Nations Department of Public Information, tel: (212) 963-6857, fax: (212) 963-4556; the Secretariat of the Special Initiative, tel: (212) 906-5926/5695, fax: (212) 906-5423. Inquiries can also be addressed to Tunji Lardner c/o

More detail on the initiative is available on the Web at


Message-Id: <> From: "APIC" <> Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 21:54:28 -0500 Subject: Africa: New Internat. Initiatives