The 59th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 50th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund will be held from May 27 to 31 in Nairobi.

Africa today has $640 billion in outstanding debt and pays nearly $70 billion in interest every year. It would be fair to have a funding mechanism that treats us equally.” Kenyan President William Ruto’s call during the African Union’s 5th Semi-Annual Coordination Meeting in July 2023 in Nairobi was unequivocal: the global financial architecture must be reformed so that the continent is no longer the poor relation of the world.

Bold reforms to the international financial system to alleviate African debt

According to the Kenyan president, bold decisions are needed to ease the debt burden of African countries. Many African leaders hope that time has just arrived. The African Development Bank Group will make this topic a priority at its annual meetings to be held from 27 to 31 May 2024 in Nairobi on the theme: “ltransforming Africa, the African Development Bank Group and reforming the global financial architecture.» These meetings will provide a platform for African countries to address the issue of reforming the international financial system and to design a way forward.

In Nairobi, the emphasis will be on jointly constructing a new international financial pact with a “win-win” approach, as advocated by William Ruto. “Let’s change the conversation! Let’s not talk about us versus them, North versus South. Let’s take a win-win approach,” he argued in Paris during a June 2023 roundtable on the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa at the Summit on a New Global Financial Deal. Despite numerous human, financial, climate, technical and technological challenges, African countries remain mobilized to work with the international community to address the common challenges of humanity.