With the continuing Covid pandemic, war in Ukraine and the resulting impact on supply chains and the global food security, longstanding problems like persistent poverty, inequality and climate change have been all but eclipsed from public discussion.
Read more: Ukrainian War Worsens Africa's Food Crisis
Yet, such issues require urgent, coordinated action as never before.
For the third FICS Summit, co-organized by the African Development Bank Group and the European Investment Bank, researchers have investigated the potential role to be played by PDBs and the ways they could take on greater responsibility in the worldwide effort to usher in a green and social transition, centered on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Delegates will examine ways to address both current crises and longstanding socio-economic problems, via improved coordination among banks and other institutions.
This year's event begins with a research conference on October 18, followed by high-level talks on Oct. 19-20.
It all began in 2020. PDBs worldwide gathered for the first time during the initial Finance in Common Summit in Paris, where, in a Joint Declaration, they agreed to shift their investment patterns and activities to help achieve the SDGs and the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Previous editions of the FICS summit in Paris and Rome (in 2021) outlined recommendations for decision-makers, including:
- Aligning their policies and financial and economic decisions with the SDGs
- Working with PDBs to implement policies in areas ranging from poverty, inequality and affordable financing for small firms, to climate change and the loss of nature
- Rethinking the global financial architecture, such that multilateral banks, national development banks, aid agencies, companies, cities, and federal states share a common focus on the SDGs
Recent months have seen significant progress, with public development banks taking a number of concrete steps:
- The PBD coalition has reached more than US$1.3 billion of its US$4 billion investment target to benefit African micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and provided technical assistance totaling more than US$7 million.
- The "PDBs Platform for Green and Inclusive Food Systems" has been launched by IFAD, CDP and other PDBs with the support of AFD, aimed at accelerating greener and more inclusive investments in agriculture and in food processing, packaging and transport activities.
- The Alliance of Subnational Development Banks in Latin America has launched a study on Latin American SDBs that is mapping the needs and resources linked to financing in the region.
Next week in Abidjan, a diverse range of participants, including heads of development banks, experts and researchers will take the discussion further.
This year’s sessions will cover:
- Updates of the database of the more than 500 Public Development Banks around the world
- The search for a clear mandate: how PDBs can make up for and complement markets – especially when they fail
- Finding ways to more closely align PDB activities with the Sustainable Development Goals
- How the more than 100 African Development Banks can help to ensure that everyone on the continent has access to basic services
Topics will be vast and varied, ranging from agriculture and food security to the world’s financial architecture and the just energy transition.
Read more: AFD Intervenes to Tackle the Food Crisis
With unparalleled levels of financial firepower and an increasingly clear mandate to facilitate the implementation of sustainable development policies, PDBs are uniquely equipped to contribute to the green transition, and to the realization of the SDGs.
The summit's seminars and debates will explore how.