Editor’s Note: June 22, 2018

Should we care about aid transparency?

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is the world’s most honest development agency. This is according to the 2018 Aid Transparency Index, released on Thursday.

It’s the first time the ADB has topped the list, which uses 35 indicators to assess how open the world’s top 45 development agencies are about their aid. Encouragingly the African Development Bank ranks 4th, with China’s Ministry of Commerce at the bottom of the table.

Interesting, but what does this tell us? 

While there are obvious benefits to tracking aid disbursements, including better donor coordination and awareness, the index feels a bit out of step.

Development assistance has generally fallen out of favour in recent years – in Africa the focus is very much on trade before aid these days. Aid to the continent from official donors stood at $29bn last year, compared to $42bn in foreign direct investment.

It’s also not obvious that less transparency is necessarily a bad sign. Japan’s ministry of foreign affairs and its development agency Jica, well established donors, are ranked in the bottom 10. Even the World Bank is in the lower half.

The index doesn’t do any harm, but it’s also not obvious why the world should care about aid transparency.

From The Continent

Kenyan finance minister Henry Rotich has said a proposed new financial markets regulator, aimed at overseeing lender conduct, will not impede conflict with the mandate of the country’s central bank following complaints it could ’emasculate’ the lender. The move is aimed at cracking down on predatory lending, particularly in the booming fintech space. More: Reuters

The African Arbitration Association, a new initiative aimed at reducing the continent’s dependence on costly international arbitration to settle commercial disputes, will be formally launched in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, next week. Arbitration is becoming more prevalent across the continent on the back of growing investment. More: The New Times

The Daily Stat


The size of a World Bank loan to Tanzania to help finance power projects in the East African country. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

The EU’s commissioner for migrants has said the bloc will not create a “Guantanamo Bay for migrants” as it moves ahead with plans to build detention centres in North Africa. The comments come amid deep divisions within the EU about how to tackle migration. More: BBC

Dubai-based private equity group Abraaj has agreed to sell some of its regional funds, including sub-Saharan Africa, to Los Angeles-based Colony Capital following a high profile dispute with some of its biggest investors. The decision marks an unexpected fall from grace for what was until recently one of Africa's leading private equity investors. More: The National

The Daily Follow

FAO in Africa @FAOAfrica: ‏News and updates from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Africa office.