The African Development Bank is formally launched on a new path to deliver development impact for the people of Africa. On Friday, April 22, 2016, it reached a major milestone, with the approval by the Bank’s Board of Directors of the institution’s new Development and Business Delivery Model (DBDM). On Wednesday June 22, 2016, the Board went a step further by approving the updated Decentralization Action Plan in line with the DBDM.
At its core, the DBDM aims to streamline business processes to improve efficiency, improve financial performance and increase development impact, and move the Bank’s operations much closer to its clients so as to improve delivery. It will be rolled out in phases over the period 2016-2018, and is closely aligned with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy and its five scaled-up core development priorities for the continent, namely the High 5s – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the Quality of life of the People of Africa.
The new Development and Business Delivery Model is built on achieving five foundations within the Bank -- Move closer to clients to enhance delivery, Reconfigure HQ to support the regions to deliver better outcomes, Strengthen the performance culture to attract and maintain talent, Streamline business processes to promote efficiency and effectiveness, and Improve financial performance and increase development impact – in order to deliver the High 5s. Under the DBDM, three sector complexes, led by Vice-Presidents, will be created to oversee the implementation of the High 5s, one Chief Economist Complex to provide leadership on macroeconomic management, Governance and countercyclical budget support, and a Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery Complex whose mandate is to oversee the work of the five regional hubs. The new Power, Energy and Green Growth sector complex will deliver the “Light up and power Africa” priority. The new Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex sector complex will work to “Feed Africa” and “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa”. A slightly adjusted Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation complex will focus on “Industrialise Africa”. The “Integrate Africa” High 5 priority will be driven by the regional development, integration and business delivery hubs.
The updated Action Plan is inextricably tied to the DBDM and its implementation. It does not envisage a wholesale revision of the Bank’s decentralization strategy, but is aimed at adjusting the decentralization process which has so far made good progress and has the potential of improving significantly the quality of the Bank’s operations in its Regional Member Countries. The first of the five foundations of the DBDM – moving closer to clients to enhance delivery – is enshrined in the updated Decentralization Action Plan. The aim of this updated Action Plan is to align the Bank’s operations much more closely to the needs and systems of its Regional Member Countries, promote deeper policy and sector dialogue, develop new business opportunities, improve donor coordination, enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its interventions, and enhance impact in the countries in which the Bank intervenes.
“I believe we can all be proud that this Bank has an exceptional record in serving Africa,” AfDB Group President Akinwumi Adesina wrote in a message to all staff announcing the DBDM. “When it reached its 50th anniversary in 2014, it had many millions of reasons to celebrate, in the form of the many millions of lives it has touched. Our task now is to ensure that the Bank continues to move forward to deliver greater development impact for the people of Africa. We must constantly have greater ambitions for Africa. Africa must think big, act big and deliver big.
“Together, we must rebrand ourselves and reposition the Bank within a rapidly changing development landscape,” Adesina wrote. “As the ‘Development Bank of Choice for Africa’, we must constantly innovate. That’s why the Bank has just launched a call for smart new ideas for better delivery. Over 100 were offered under our INNOPitch initiative, and 60% of the Bank’s staff voted on them: we chose 5.
“We should not just aspire to be like others. Must become more innovative, leverage our brand, our balance sheets, our strategic position as trusted partner for Africa, and work in strong partnerships with others to deliver greater developmental impacts for Africa.”