ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, May 11, 2023/ — The Seychelles Country Team of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) held its first Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Open Day in Seychelles on Thursday, 27 April 2023.

A total of 25 representatives of CSOs, including the umbrella body, Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS), joined to discuss the bank’s country strategy and portfolio and identify opportunities for collaboration towards sustainable and inclusive development in Seychelles. This includes addressing energy transition and youth development.

Attendees include the African Development Bank’s Director General for East Africa, Mrs. Nnenna Nwabufo, the Principal Secretary for National Planning in Seychelles, Ms. Elizabeth Charles Agathine, the Director for Special Programs at the Office of the President, Ms. Maria Mulindi, and the CEO of CEPS, Mr. Alvin Laurence.

Mrs. Nwabufo reiterated the Bank’s commitment to engaging civil society organizations in implementing the Bank’s High 5s for inclusive, sustainable growth and development in Seychelles.

The bank instituted CSO Open Day as a platform for sharing information on its portfolio, shared learning, and an opportunity for civil society bodies to provide feedback on the Bank’s country engagement.

Ms. Agathine reaffirmed the government’s commitment to working with CSOs and other stakeholders to solve the country’s development challenges. “We believe working together can create a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society.”

Recognizing the role of CSOs in the development process, Ms. Mulindi encouraged the participants to develop a keen interest in the Bank’s development projects. This would ensure the realization of the intended social benefits for the people while strengthening the Bank’s impact on livelihoods.

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The Bank presented its strategy and results achieved since 2021. The presentation made by Mr. Tilahun Temesgen, Chief Regional Economist, highlighted the key challenges, including cross-cutting issues.

CEPS CEO Laurence gave an overview of civil society engagement in Seychelles, challenges, and possible opportunities for collaboration.

Some of the critical recommendations raised at the event were:
Request for a more participatory development process. The CSOs recommended a platform for multistakeholder dialogue, which includes government, private sector, and civil society with a particular focus on the energy transition and solutions for renewables
Build capacity on the Bank’s procurement processes, including for AFAWA and ACCF.

Education curricula should match the respective industry, especially in the tourism and renewable energy sectors. They emphasized the need for a transition plan from fossil fuel to clean energy.

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF), and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).

On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: www.AfDB.org

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