The African Development Bank, as Africa’s premier development finance institution, is at the forefront in supporting African countries to deal with diverse challenges while charting a green and socially sustainable development pathway for the continent. The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has developed its Integrated Safeguards System (ISS), to promote growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Safeguards are a powerful tool for identifying risks, reducing development costs and improving project sustainability, thus benefiting affected communities and helping to preserve the environment.

As part of the implementation of the five priorities for Africa, AFDB is making a sustained effort for the development of sustainable infrastructures in the African continent in all areas including energy, transport and industry. The Bank strongly believes that the proper application of the Integrated Safeguards System will ensure effectiveness, increase the positive impacts and improve the sustainability of our development interventions.

Putting sustainable development on the ground

President Adesina has therefore made a strong commitment to promoting an environmentally sustainable infrastructure that is adapted to climate change and that, beyond protecting the integrity of people's living conditions, can generate real benefits for host communities. To realize this commitment, the President has built environmental and social safeguards into a department endowed with significant human and financial resources and subject to special consideration by senior management.

Increasing ownership and enabling genuine community participation in project design

In the same vein, taking into account the aspirations of the African populations, in particular civil society is an essential concern for the preparation and implementation of sustainable projects but also to improve the ownership of the achievements by the communities themselves. Thus, the President decided to proceed with the disclosure of adequate project information and environmental and social information to ensure that individuals, community groups and civil society are fully informed

This disclosure of safeguard information is made early in the project preparation process to allow people, beyond the mandatory consultation process, to genuinely participate in the project design and implementation process. Environmental and Social Assessment documents will now be accessible and downloadable and will be in the public domain within the limits and requirements of the Bank's Disclosure and Access to Information Policy.

The Bank is making information on environmental and social sustainability and performance available to its stakeholders at all stages during project development and implementation to enable communities in project areas to voice their concerns and aspirations and reap true benefits from project-related developments. African people, Civil Society, private sector and other development partners can now freely access Environmental and Social Assessment documentation within the limits and requirements of the Bank's Disclosure and Access to Information Policy by following this link:

Information sur le lien FULL DISCLOSURE.

The Bank’s policy on Disclosure and Access to Information is based upon the principles of maximum disclosure, enhanced access to information, and limited exceptions. The Bank aims to apply these principles to the Environmental and Social Assessment process – ensuring continuous disclosure of key documents during the process and making documents available to the public on request and at key stages of the project cycle through the Integrated Safeguards Tracking System (ISTS).

Implementation of Safeguard measures, and grievance and redress mechanism

The borrower or client shall establish a credible, independent and empowered local grievance and redress mechanism to receive, facilitate and follow up on the resolution of the affected people’s grievances and concerns regarding the environmental and social performance of the project. During project implementation, the borrower or client shall be responsible for the implementation of the ESMP and shall report to the Bank on key management or monitoring tasks as set out in the ESMP. The Bank periodically monitors the implementation of the ESMP through its supervision missions. In special cases, the Bank may conduct compliance audits.

The E&S Safeguards and Compliance Department (SNSC) is mandated to provide E&S technical services to the entire Bank and to better address the needs of its public and private sector clients across Africa. SNSC’s mission is to enhance and mainstream environmental and social sustainability into the Bank’s public and private sector operations. The department beyond contributing to project due diligence, ensures that adequate and genuine consultation with affected parties and establishment of project level grievance and redress mechanisms are properly implemented.

The Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) provides people adversely affected by a project financed by the Bank with an independent recourse mechanism through which they can voice their grievance and/or request the Bank to comply with its own policies and procedures. The IRM is administered by the Compliance Review and Mediation Unit of the Bank (BCRM).