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Meeting the challenges of Africa's development: A World Bank group action plan

Africa Region, The World Bank

7 September 2005

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In 2002, donors at Monterrey, Mexico pledged to increase aid levels to Africa significantly. The 2005 G-8 Summit at Gleneagles renewed the commitment of the world’s richest nations to support Africa’s development and signaled the intention to move beyond the Monterrey pledges to additional development assistance and debt relief. The World Bank Group has a major role to play in facilitating the international response to the call for expanded assistance to Africa by working in partnership with other development partners to help every African country to reach as many of the Millennium Development Goals as possible by 2015.

This Executive Summary sets out the outcome-based action program contained in the attached Africa Action Plan (AAP). This Executive Summary sets out priority areas of action—25 specific initiatives to be undertaken by the World Bank Group in the Africa Region during the IDA14 implementation period (2006-2008)—as well as a monitoring framework with quantitative targets, implementation responsibilities and risks.

In brief, the AAP provides a results-oriented framework to support critical policy and public actions led by African countries to achieve well-defined goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The principal means available to Africa’s countries to achieve these goals include building honest and capable states through governance reforms; raising the rate of growth; and enabling the poor and women to participate in, and benefit from growth. The Bank Group alone cannot address Africa’s needs in these areas. Partnerships at the country, regional and global levels; greater country and sector selectivity in the design and targeting of interventions; better harmonization and alignment of development partners’ actions to support country-led strategies; and the establishment of sound monitoring and evaluation systems are all needed. Success in implementing these actions will largely determine how effectively the new resources available for Africa will be used. Implementing the AAP will have significant implications for the Bank Group’s way of doing business in Africa in terms of budget, staff skills and location of work. Lastly, the efficacy of the Action Plan itself will be regularly assessed using the results indicators outlined in Annex A to provide feedback to enable modifications for improvements.1

  1. In this context, the Bank Group envisions the AAP as a “living” document.

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